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84 Barkers Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122
At the intersection of Church Street (turns into High Street South) and Barkers Road.
PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Many would remember Hawthorn's Beehive Hotel as a grungy pub, somewhat worse for wear, located prominently at the corner of Barkers Road and Church Street. A sympathetic refurbishment and the installation of Taxi Dining Room chefs Michael Lambie and Tony Twitchett has given this venue a new lease on life as a restaurant that still offers relaxed surroundings and great pub food but with a fine dining sense of style. The front bar has ample space to handle overflow from the dining room and has been beautifully renovated, retaining many period features that were unearthed from beneath the decades of grime. It takes its wine bar moniker seriously and is a comfortable spot to take advantage of the punchy wine list that includes a vast array of Australian, New Zealand and European vintages, with nearly 30 available by the glass. Bar snacks are available here as well as the full bistro menu. There's also a charming courtyard which takes full advantage of sunny days and is popular for weekend breakfasts.
The bistro menu takes an Asian bent with starters such as chicken salad with hot mint and pickled carrot and five-spiced calamari with green papaya salad and spicy tomato sauce. Mains feature pub favourites: ale battered fish and chips with mushy peas and lemon- and parsley-crumbed schnitzel with hot mustard coleslaw, while other recommended dishes include angel hair pasta with fresh crab, lemon, parsley and chilli and Szechuan-spiced crispy duck with sesame and tamarind sauce. There is also a long list of wood-fired pizzas to choose from courtesy of the stone pizza oven that dominates the front entrance. They are also available to take-away and include inventive combinations such as roast tomato, roast cauliflower, spicy sausage, pancetta and chilli; and lamb, Persian fetta, blackened onion and taleggio.