Skip to main content


Want Melbourne Patron blog posts delivered straight to your inbox? Click the "Subscribe" button at the top of this page and follow the simple instructions. Magic!

Hana Restaurant

A seafood tribute to Hawaii in Melbourne - with cocktails 

One day in the middle of Melbourne winter, I went looking for Hairy Canary. I remembered a long, dark venue with cocktails, somewhere on Lt Collins. In its place, I found Hana (212 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne), a new restaurant I'd read about but hadn't realised it had replaced the long-standing Canary.

I was intrigued, because HALLELUJAH, here was a new restaurant in Melbourne that was NOT yet another fried/slow-cooked/smoked/overdone tribute to Americana. Though technically still American, Hana celebrates and proffers the exotic flavours of Hawaii. Which basically means a lot of fish. Which is good. Because fish is good for you. And delicious.

So anyway, cut forward a few weeks to when my equally-foodie-friend is in town from Sydney for work. Let's try Hana! I said. Sure! he said. (We actually ate there at the end of June, and I have been incredibly slack in putting this post together, but I'm hoping-slash-fairly confident that most of our experience would still be pretty relevant.)

We had a booking, but I got there early and was seated by a charming, down-to-earth young lady called Alex, who offered me coconut or sparkling water. Unusual, but refreshing. Naturally, I went with neither, and instead focused my attentions on the drinks menu, which I was pleasantly surprised to see listed multiple biodynamic wine options - music to my sulfite-allergic ears. Tongue. Whatever. I tried an orange-style fruliano which was quite nice, but then switched to a slightly fizzy biodynamic verdelho, so delicious that I ended up having several glasses of it, as did my friend - so really, we should have just ordered a bottle. Who am I kidding; two bottles.

Now the venue is much the same as it was previously, in that it's long and thin, with a bar running down the middle, more of a drinking section towards the front and more restaurant-style seating towards the back. However, the place has now been tiki'd. Everything is adorned with fake, dark green, leafy foliage, light wood, and the odd pink neon sign demands your attention. It's all rather appropriate to the theme, and a bit of fun. I almost felt out of place, not wearing a grass skirt, coconut bra and lei. I also didn't order any cocktails, not being much of a cocktail drinker, but apparently this place is good at them, and unsurprisingly they're also somewhat tropical-themed.

Whilst waiting for my friend to arrive, I asked for an oyster, and received the last one - muahahaaa! Remember, this was the middle of winter, a point at which decent oysters can be hard to come by. This one, although accompanied by vinaigrette when I had expected natural, was huge, meaty and fresh, and the vinaigrette flavours were perfect, so I was pretty happy.

Once my friend arrived and we'd chosen a few dishes to share, I found it rather difficult taking photos of the food due to the dim pinkish-red light - so please don't let that deter you. I did enjoy the light on the night, though. When else can you say you spent an evening bathed in pink neon? (That is definitely rhetorical.)


Pretty much all the food we ate was light and fish-based, beautifully fresh.

Crispy baby shrimp - slightly sweet and deliciously crunchy:

Octopus terrine with pickled ginger and chilli - thinner and more delicate than I expected (it broke apart easily) and the rocket salad was kinda hard to eat. Tasty, but a bit of a mess: 

Snapper ceviche with kumquat and tigers milk - the snapper was just beautiful with the tiger milk (which included coconut milk, lime and something else):

Tuna, watermelon, coconut and lime - one of those combinations you'd never think to put together, but it goes so well. This was beautifully presented, great textures, tasty... just great: 

Chocolate haupia - I'm still not entirely sure what haupia is, but this was a gelatinous kind of coconut and chocolate dessert on a biscuit base and scattered with crunchy crumbs - awesome: 

I'm actually relieved there's another type of cuisine to eat in Melbourne (and it's decent); I was beginning to think there was no originality left in what used to be a great city for food. Try it while you can. Vive la revolution!

Hana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Popular posts from this blog

Steak Night and Pub Meal Specials

Want Melbourne Patron blog posts delivered straight to your inbox? Click on the "Subscribe" button at the top of this page and follow the simple instructions. Magic!

I am a sucker for a good steak, and lately, what with moving house and all the extra expenses that incurs, I've been on the lookout for great pub specials such as steak nights. I've been keeping a list on my phone of some of the deals I've found at venues around my home and work (mostly in the CBD, Fitzroy/Collingwood, Richmond/Abbotsford, South Yarra/Prahran/Windsor, South Melbourne) - and there are lots, so please note I haven't tried them all. Several of my friends have asked me to send them a copy of the list - so I figure this way, I can share it with everybody who might be interested!

PLEASE NOTE: This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the pub specials in Melbourne (there are many websites for that already!), nor is it necessarily current. I will do my best to keep it up-to-date - if…

Spice Temple

Spice Temple  Neil Perry's Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant at Crown, Southbank, Melbourne
It's considered an institution in Melbourne, and with a chef to its name like Neil Perry, a location like Southbank, and an existence of six years in the Melbourne restaurant scene (when staying power is notoriously elusive), it's no wonder. Spice Temple's name is a pretty accurate description of the restaurant: food heavy in spices and spiciness; a dim space with a sort of hushed reverence.

The quiet tone of Spice Temple (Shop 7, Crown Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) could well be due to its design. With lots of dark wood and more traditional red and gold carpet, one might be forgiven for thinking it's a little dated. What keeps it current is the symmetrical and perpendicular fittings, creating neat squared-off eating nooks, and the dark, felt-like soundproofing material spaced out overhead, muffling any white noise.

Walking into the restaurant's reception area, yo…

Mr. Miyagi

It's the place that was made infamous by the 'chopsticks incident' last December, where a young Richmond Tigers AFL player drunkenly threatened to attack a woman dining nearby with his chopsticks. But of course, Mr. Miyagi had already developed a cult following well before that.

Opening in October 2013 on the ever-so-hip Windsor portion of Chapel Street, and tickling nostalgic fancies with its reference to 1984 classic The Karate Kid, the restaurant has enjoyed a steady stream of customers since. I remember stopping by with a friend one Thursday night mid last year to enquire about a table, and we were told it would be a two-hour wait. Well! Either this place is really good, I thought, or really good at hype.

I made a calculated plan with friends to score a table there on a Friday night recently. I rocked up nice and early, 6:45pm-ish, and put my name down for a table. They advised the wait would be approximately an hour, probably less, noted down my mobile number and enco…