MELBOURNE | Hazel opened on Flinders Lane in 2019. At the time, it was one of café-focused Mulberry Group’s earliest forays into the restaurant side of hospitality. Split across two levels in the heritage-listed Richard Allen & Son, Hazel is a light space with heritage details, high ceilings, exposed brickwork, and natural materials.
Downstairs, you’ll find the bar surrounded by stools, tables, and plush seating, while upstairs it’s an open kitchen looking across a dining floor. In the basement, you’ll find Mulberry Group’s moody cocktail bar, Dessous.
The menu follows the ‘drink and a few snacks or a full meal to share’ structure. There’s snacks and larger dishes, accompanied by an extensive wine list, local craft beer, and cocktails made using local, independent spirits. Of note is the Coravin system and the presence of 375ml wine bottles, meaning you can try wines where a full bottle might be out of your price range.
Open flames and wood-fired grilling features prominently in the kitchen, where you’ll find top quality local produce being used to make an assortment of tasty menu options. Much is made on site from scratch, including Hazel’s cheese, bread, and charcuterie. Sustainability and low-waste are also proudly espoused.
As tends to be the case with similar venues in 2023, the snacks section of the menu is where the best stuff is happening. Highlights when I dined on the spring menu included Venus Bay Baby Octopus with broccoli leaf and parsley sauce; new season asparagus with preserved lemon and salmon pearls; and Warialda beef tartare with lovage and game chips. Pork crackers topped with whipped cod roe are also well worth your time.
164 Flinders Lane
Tue: 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Wed – Sat: 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 5:30pm to 10:00pm