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European Class at Hare and Grace

Posted by on in Fine Dining
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Hare and Grace is one of my new favourites with its European ambience and fine dining appeal. This is not grunge fine dining but fine dining in a classic atmosphere, perfect for that business lunch. I rolled up to lively Hare And Grace after hearing rave reviews to see if the hype was warranted. Upon entry into a beautifully architectured and fitted space I was impressed by the friendly welcome and conviviality and bustle of the lunchtime crowd. Bravo to staff and their attentiveness to move me from a bar stool to a table proper in a packed lunch hour. This was the place to be. And dare I say it - very Melbourne.


See the Hare presiding over culinary matters... 

The stripped back interior is designed by Joost Baker, with arrangements of smoke bush hanging from the gabled ceilings and sketches of by artist Barry Drinan featuring on the walls. Imaginative if not festive.
Outside there is an open-air terrace, flanked by an edible garden, with views of the city skyline and the Rialto Tower. 
Hare & Grace has quickly developed a loyal following in the CBD for both its “traderne” (a fusion of traditional food and modern techniques) in addition to its top quality steaks and catering.
The eatery is open for both lunch and dinner and the mini bar serves snacks and meals throughout the day. Hare and Grace has a large selection of boutique beers, wines and cocktails on offer. In 2012, they won the People’s Choice Award in the The Australian’s Hot 50 Restaurant Awards.
Hare & Grace is the perfect venue in Melbourne for that cheeky after-work drink, or quick bite on your way home.
Together, Executive Chef and Owner Raymond Capaldi along with Head Chef Buddha Lo focus their kitchen on seasonal, fresh produce that is simple, stylish and healthy.



Tempted to order from the daily express lunch menu, I instead ordered the popular Pork Belly from the "Principals" list of mains. Being a pork belly tragic I was keen to compare with other venues around Melbourne. I know its only one dish and sometime I will visit with others to sample several dishes from Hare and Grace. But pork belly can be a barometer. I could have selected from a plethora of tempting dishes such as the Milawa Roast Duck, Lamb Rump or Ocean Trout.


Hare and Grace pleased with $5 Coronas at lunchtime...


Back to the pork belly. What I loved was the rustic nature of the dish, being served with hearty lentils and pickled pineapple, along with fennel and carrot. Personally I like to "salt up the pork" (as I do at home). Thankfully their was salt on the table. The rich flavour of the lentil and pineapple broth was a perfect accompaniment to the pork belly. 

The pork itself was dutifully crispy in its crackling and tender underneath. And a generous portion to boot. Even the fennel foliage played its part in this happy harmony of flavours. Definitely a contender for the pork belly supremo title in Melbourne.


Hare and Grace is a treasure deep in business territory in the Melbourne CBD. Catch up with your broker or hook up with your project manager.


The fit out is modern with a nod to the classic. Check out the smoke bush branches hanging from the ceiling. Great architecture to enhance the rustic appearance. Gazi has pots; Hare and Grace has branches.

At the chunky wooden tables the well heeled catch up. The friendly staff run the floor with warmth and a touch of class.


Another nod to the classic are these Barry Drinan (international artist with a studio in Fitzroy) sketches...


Hare and Grace presents with a partially open kitchen and a cool quote on the blackboard above for the contemplative...


Hare and Grace is enjoying itself deep in the world of European goodness. This place screams "style"! I'm hooked and can't wait to return...

Hare & Grace on Urbanspoon

Tagged in: European
David Hagger is a bald headed man with a penchant for finery, convivial dining, and festive culture. He honestly believes Melbourne is an impressive global city.


  • Guest
    Katherine- Sunday, 08 September 2013

    And no I am not guest. It was lovely seeing you on Tuesday night. Sorry I caught you off guard- I didn't know you were coming. When's your post on Mr Nice guy coming?


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Guest Monday, 25 May 2015