Molli is a neighbourhood bar and bistro from the minds behind Dessous, Hazel and Lilac Wine.
Andrew Zuccala
Published on July 03, 2024
Updated on July 04, 2024


Abbotsford bar and bistro Molli comes courtesy of the Mulberry Group (HazelDessousLilac WineLiminalCommon Ground Project and Heide Kitchen). Each of Mulberry's venues is bucket list-worthy, and Molli seems to be no exception.

Former Hazel Head Chef and Abbotsford resident Aleksis Kalnins is running the kitchen here, plating up contemporary Australian fare. Plenty of produce is sourced from the building's own rooftop garden, as well as the group's regenerative farm in Freshwater Creek.

Little Molli deli and cafe in Abbotsford

The menu features snacking plates like pork neck skewers with date pûrée, smoked eggplant with chickpea miso and seaweed crackers with mushroom ketchup. You can come in for a little sip and snack session with these or dive into the more substantial dishes.

A rotating selection of two pastas — made fresh onsite every morning — will always feature on the menu, complementing permanent mains like wagyu rump steak, whole alpine trout with horseradish and pork crackling and spatchcock with preserved lemon.

Kalnins is big on technique but is keeping things deceptively simple at Molli. Instead of overloading a dish with ingredients, only a few thoughtfully selected ingredients will feature in each playful but approachable dish.

Molli bistro and bar in Abbotsford

Kayla Saito — the brains behind Hazel's and Dessous' ever-changing beverage lineup — has designed a drinks list that's described as "relaxed but thoughtful" and with a deep sustainability ethos.

Saito collaborates closely with the kitchen when formulating the funky tipples, which celebrate small-batch, local spirits. The cocktail menu includes a rotating offer of seven cocktails in core styles — such as a spritz, a sour and a martini — as well as seven zero-proof alternatives like water kefir and kombucha. Punches served in vintage bowls are also available for groups.

The wine list, which comes courtesy of Andre Magneklint (ex-Bahama Gold and Old Palm Liquor), showcases a broad yet accessible selection of vinos. You'll find familiar varietals from well-known regions, as well as plenty of hidden gems that you're unlikely to have tried before. Craft spirits and draught beer from Clayton's Two Rupees round out the drinks lineup.

Molli bistro and bar in Abbotsford

And to set the vibe within the bistro and bar, the team has enlisted the help of local record store Dutch Vinyl to curate a monthly-changing vinyl soundtrack.

Molli also boasts a private dining room, as well as a large rooftop space that can be booked for private events. The rooftop has its own bar and kitchen, making it primed for summertime parties in Abbotsford.

Molli bistro and bar in Abbotsford


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