The minds behind Liminal and Common Ground Project have opened your new after-work go-to for cocktails and things on toast.
In 2019, The Mulberry Group (founders and past owners of The Kettle Black, Top Paddock and Higher Ground) gifted Melbourne with four stunning venues: Liminal in the CBD, Geelong's road trip-worthy Common Ground Project, and contemporary CBD diner Hazel with its late-night basement sibling Dessous.
Hazel graces two levels of the 1920s T&G Building at 164 Flinders Lane, and marks a shift for the group as its first venue to open nights. Helming the kitchen is Head Chef Zac Nicholson (Rockpool Bar & Grill) who's cooking with a woodfired grill and oven both fuelled by Australian-grown ironbark.
Expect small bites like a pig's head terrine and grilled prawns with cumin mayonnaise, alongside larger plates like the wood-grilled duck breast teamed with aged balsamic. Pasta might feature the likes of fettuccine with baby kale and chilli, a lamb forequarter chop is matched with chimichurri, and a chopped salad side is finished with pork crackling for extra crunch. There are also seven different things on toast, such as mussels and white wine, anchovy and kefir butter, and duck liver pâté with caramelised onions.
With over 120 bottles, the wine selection has decidedly broad appeal and is backed by a lineup of local brews and an unfussy handful of cocktails, such as strawberry negronis, grapefruit sprtizes and salted cucumber concoctions.
Meanwhile, the light-filled space is also primed for lingering — award-winning interior design firm The Stella Collective has left its mark with a restrained, but elegant mix of gentle curves, natural linens and polished floors. And, after you're done with dinner, you can head downstairs to Dessous for a nightcap — it's open until 11pm.
Images: Pete Dillon.