Eating, playing and capturing moments around town.
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Published October 20th 2012
Buzzing with atmosphere and beautiful desserts
We initially wanted to dine at Mr. Hive Kitchen and Bar for their dessert bar offerings only. Needless to say, we were glad that we ended up opting for their dinner menu as well because the execution of their French influenced dishes and overall service were of a high standard.
Mr Hive has taken over the space in Crown Casino where the former Maze restaurant owned by Gordon Ramsay used to be. Last year, the executive chef John Lawson was short-listed as one of The Age's Young Chef of the Year contenders. The restaurant is not too far in achieving a one chef hat status in the near future.
The interior was well designed and spacious. High ceilings and carefully chosen furniture added to the ambiance of the venue. On the Friday night that we were there, they had organised live acoustic music. The bar area was perfect to relax after a long day and offerings of finger food were happily accepted by everyone.
For starters, we ordered the octopus ($12), chorizo with blood orange and the "Crispy Little Pig" ($21). Both were cooked well and had great textures. We were expecting pork belly but realised later that the cubes were made from parts of the pig's head.
The mains we ordered are to be shared between two people. The special of the day was a beer can cooked chicken with rosemary potatoes ($55). The other platter consisted of a Saltbush lamb shoulder, ribs and sausage ($85). The chicken I consumed was extra juicy and it didn't omit a strong beer flavour at all. A shot of beer accompanied the dish. The lamb dish had a stronger meaty flavour as the other flavours didn't overpower the lamb.
Towards the end of the night, they had seats for our group of 4 to sit at the dessert bar (6 people maximum) to watch the pastry chefs do their magic. It was a great way to finish off the evening. The desserts were superb.
For a Friday night, it was surprisingly at half capacity. We assumed that word of mouth would soon get around as this place is worth checking out. Entertainment card holders are entitled to an additional 25% off the bill. Would I return? Yes, for sure.