I absolutely love getting out and about in Melbourne. In the past few weeks I have travelled to Ringwood, Bayswater, Balaclava, Essendon, Elsternwick, Blackburn. Noble Park, Dandenong (not to be confused with The Dandenongs), Sherbrooke, Northcote, Thornbury, Bundoora, Nunawading and of course, The City. If you live in Melbourne you notice that I have been North, East, West. The discerning amongst you, whether you know Melbourne or not, will be wondering why I have not journeyed to parts of South Melbourne. South Melbourne is a well established suburb and as for being in Melbourne’s South? I think you would end up in the sea on your way to Tasmania.
A friend invited me to have brunch at The Hatter & The Hare in Bayswater. Bayswater would not be my first choice to meet for brunch and a much needed catch up. The suburb conjures up images of factories, family homes and a few shops. “Bayswater”, I scoffed!
As I approached the restaurant along Scoresby Road, I drove past boxing gyms, factories, noticed the station has been re-vamped and thought nice touch, more factory looking places and thought this does not bode well!
I drove into the car park which was packed and it took a little while to find a spot. First positive indication that I may be having more than just a coffee.
The entrance from the car park is on the side of the building. The glass door led me into a huge space that I was not at all expecting. Apart from the buzz of activity from the kitchen and hum of conversations, my first impression was that the decor was simply captivating.
Once I entered, I was warmly greeted by a waitress who asked me wait and then she would find me a table. This gave me time to adjust to my surroundings especially as I had been so dubious about eating out in Bayswater. The tables and chairs had lots of space to manoeuvre around them. I find this is especially important so that I am not constantly apologising when my chair scrapes across another diner’s chair or eavesdropping on an intimate conversation! The table settings were nicely done with small receptacles of fresh flowers, delicately sized condiments and menus already placed on them.
To one side, my eye caught a wall display of flowers and thought, must get a picture later on. In front of me, separating me from the kitchen was an impressive display of cakes of all sizes with mouth watering names and descriptions. Gluten-free (yay!) and Vegan options available.
I continued to look around mesmerised by the decor of the place and noticed my friend frantically waving at me to get my attention.
We sat down and it took some time to get into the conversation because The Hatter & The Hare is a whimsical place. Every item on the menu was up for consideration. Hmmmmmm! Shall I have the King’s Roll or The White Queen’s potion or Chase the Rabbit? I kept changing my mind as I saw fellow diners receiving their plates and constantly asked the wait staff as discreetly as I could what the other diners had ordered.
We finally settled on our choices and I was happy with my choice even though I kept getting food envy as other plates whizzed passed us. The front of the building, on the street side, has an outdoor eating area which is so well decorated that you do not notice you are on a busy road. Beautiful plant boxes with gorgeous coloured flowers.
Our food arrived and it felt like desecrating a work of art as I dug into my King’s Roll.
My friend ordered the Benedictine Adventure
The food was delicious. The combination of flavours, textures and colours in conjunction with the ambience of the restaurant made for a very pleasant brunch experience. If you’ve never been to The Hatter & The Hare, you don’t know! If you don’t know, you better find out!
Finished eating and went back to the wall of flowers to get selfies but the flowers had disappeared and there were balloons instead.
No room for dessert so will have to go back again, soon, very soon.