Hana is not just a poke restaurant. Opened by Matteo Bruno of Meatball & Wine Bar, it’s the sort of place I’d celebrate a birthday or kick-start a Saturday night with some girlfriends. Besides, Hawaiian chef Mario Manabe is doing a lot more than raw fish rice bowls.
- 212 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
- 9654 4860
Moreish tapioca crisps with sashimi salmon, a hint of yuzu and avocado cream are a good place to start, along with picked crab and tempura apple canapes.
Tender octopus terrine resembles thinly sliced charcuterie, while cubes of tuna and watermelon mimic each other, brightened with coconut and lime.
Another standout is sea asparagus, a succulent served with charred vegetables and optional Wagyu. I’d go back just for haupia, a traditional Hawaiian dessert made from coconut milk, in this case a silky chocolate version with coconut lime crumb for extra crunch.
Hana is downright fun. There’s an exaggerated tropical theme, with ferns, pineapple bag hooks and neon signs that paint the room fluorescent pink.
Pun lovers are also in for a treat: the cover of the drinks menu reads: “How to get Lei’d”. And with such good-looking waiters … actually, it’s probably best I stop there.
- Related: Matteo Bruno, the man behind Meatball & Wine Bar and Hana
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