Fancy a trip to Hawaii without travelling the 9000 odd kilometres from Melbourne? Look no further than Hana, a CBD eatery that will transport guests and their taste buds to tropical Hawaii with the lush greenery of the interior, tasty Tiki cocktails and a raw seafood menu.
Day time and night time dining varies slightly, with a condensed lunch time menu compared to evening. But regardless of whatever hour your visit takes place, the poke with tapioca crisps are simply a must-order. Blackened tapioca crackers adorned with a vibrantly flavoured mountain of soy and sesame marinated poke, dollops of creamy avocado mousse and yuzu cucumber. It's an entree dish to share but I personally think otherwise. Beautifully balanced in flavour and texture, it's incredibly hard to stop at just one. The croquettes served with ginger honey and aioli are also quite the crowd favourite. Featuring a tender and silky filling of whatever fish they have on hand (ours were filled with Barramundi on the day of our visit) coated in a delicate crunch, the croquettes were highly moreish. The accompanying honey and aioli added a tasty touch, although the ginger presence could be upped a notch.
The lunch time menu features quite a few poke salads. We tried the sliced tuna and salmon selections. The sliced tuna translated to a deconstructed sushi dish, with crispy charred rice and mixed greens. Great flavouring and utilisation of dressing ensured no boring bites, while taking care to not overwhelm the natural flavour of the tuna. A testament to the quality of the produce, the silky fresh texture of the tuna (alongside the salmon and the poke from the entree) was just impeccable. The salmon salad on the other hand was interesting to say the least. Paired with a sugary macadamia topping, its overall flavour palette seemed to err on the side of sweet. Perhaps an acquired taste?
With some great seafood hits and the rise in mercury over the spring and coming summer months, Hana is a great option for a tasty and light bite, served with that brief jaunt to Hawaii. Oh, and if seafood just ain't your thang, there's also some carnivorous options such as the slow cooked beef brisket and crumbed pork shank. Onolicious.
212 Lt. Collins St,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
(03) 9654 4860
Disclosure: I dined as a guest of Hana. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.