Down the rabbit hole

Hare & Grace

525 Collins Street, CBD (next to Rialto on King St side, downstairs)

Hare & Grace

Ex-workmate A and I caught up for dinner after work the other day and decided to trek the 10 meters Hare & Grace, an ‘eatery and minibar’. We’ve been to Hare & Grace a lot since it opened back in November 2010. What we haven’t done there very often is eat, we’re normally a little distracted by drinks. I did have a really good half a calamari sandwich there one time though so I though it was time to give the ‘eatery’ part a proper chance.

Hare & Grace is one of the recently opened places improving the Bar 20 and late night kebab-esque reputation of the King Street end of the city. The interior was designed by Joost Bakker. My only other experience of Joost designs comes from his work on pop up bar Greenhouse which has been touring the country. Gerard and I randomly found it at circular quay on a trip to Sydney earlier in the year – living plant wall, rooftop herb garden, building constructed from shipping containers… it was pretty awesome.

Anyway, back to Hare & Grace. I’ve heard that the fit out with wooden bar and dense branches suspended upside down from the ceiling is intended to give the impression of descending down a rabbit hole beneath an expansive tree.  To be honest, I definitely wouldn’t have figured that out if I hadn’t been told about it, but I do think it’s a really cool concept and can definitely see it now. Whether you feel like you’re in a rabbit hole or some sort of cyclone ravaged tiki bar, it’s a cosy place for a meal or drink. Especially if you end up with a nice table by the fire during winter like we did. It was such a nice place to sit, I struggled to leave.


The food is the product of Raymond Capaldi, formerly of Fenix. It’s definitely a high quality meal, I don’t think I’ve had anything better on the wrong side of Elizabeth Street. There are two options for both lunch and dinner when eating at Hare & Grace, the restaurant proper which is a little on the fancy (and pricy – around $35 a main) side, and then the more casual bar. Tonight we went for the bar option – partially because a group of us had eaten far too many dumplings at a lunch over at NECF, but mainly because I’m really cheap.

Bar interior

I had the lamb shank, mash potato and vegetables ($26). The mash was creamy, the lamb shank was fall off the bone tender with a stickily delicious sauce. The other vegetables were bordering on zero value add territory.

Lamb shank and vegetable

A had the H&G 100% wagyu hamburger w/ lettuce, tomato, gruyere cheese, caramelised onions and fries ($21). The burger was apparently good. Other than the half a wine list that the burger was mysteriously (and I assume accidentally) served on. Paper + bread does not = good times.

Wagyu burger

All up:
Hare & Grace is not your everyday lunch or dinner venue (unless maybe you earn more money than me and have a greater tolerance for heavy food) but it is good value for the quality you’re getting and a very nice atmosphere.

Price range: $20 – $30 a main.

Hare & Grace on Urbanspoon

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