A buzzing French restaurant offering top-notch modern food
For those who did not have the fortune of being around family over Christmas and thus missing out on the traditional Turkey lunch with all the trimmings, a fancy dinner out at Crown Metropol's Mr Hive was not such a shabby alternative. The quirky modern French restaurant tucked behind Melbourne's most famous entertainment complex offered a relaxing atmosphere, excellent service and most importantly delicious food in generous quantities. At $95 per head, the meal was an experience in itself including 4 courses and a glass of sparkling.
The restaurant had a very extensive bar and an open dining area. Peculiar 'bee-hive' shaped lamp fittings hung from the high ceilings adding to its eclectic vibe. This along with the festive background music created a cheery atmosphere very suitable for catching up with old friends.
The first course was a combination of 3 dishes to share including trout on a light cucumber salad, a rich pate served with toasted bread and the best of all was a light ravioli of avocado mousse - very fresh and a perfect palate cleanser in preparation for the rest of the festive menu.
Course two was Atlantic salmon with green peas - a classic combination. The fish was perfectly seared so it was just a touch opaque in the centre. Those who are seafood experts would appreciate its perfection.
Course three offered diners an option- for the traditionalist a roasted turkey breast served with cranberries or for those who simply cannot forgo red meat; lamb teamed with Yorkshire pudding and an abundance of rich gravy served conveniently on the side in a jug. The lamb was seared well and the turkey was moist and tender. That's not all; complimenting the third 'main' course were generous servings of side dishes including roasted squash with caramelised hazelnuts and perfectly roasted potatoes.
Although absolutely stuffed by the third meal, I was excited by the dessert. There was a choice on this occasion between a light summer berry Pavlova or the classic Christmas pudding. Being Christmas and a bit of a glutton for rich sweets, I opted for the pudding without a thought. It came beautifully presented like a gem sporting a delicate sugar tuille cup with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was perfectly balanced against the strong rum flavour of the pudding. As if that was not enough to top off the meal, the waiter then presented us all with a small glass of eggnog in a cute jar with a Christmas straw and a platter of mini fruit mince tarts. It is Christmas after all - might as well have it all!
The Christmas dinner served by Mr Hive was truly an unforgettable one. As reflected by the menu, this Mister is a traditionalist but with a quirky edge and loves to entertain. My fellow dining companions and I left the establishment clutching our spoilt bellies and swooning in Christmas cheer. Although Christmas is well and truly over, you may still have the chance to be absolutely spoilt by Mr Hive this New Year's Eve. They are offering a 4 or 5 course menu at $95 and $120 pp respectively. Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment!