Miznon, Hardware Lane
Food: Baby Octopus and Chips, Baby Cauliflower Flower, Sabich, Sardine Fillet, Beetroot Carpaccio, Intimate Wagyu Pita, Mushroom Pita, Chocolate Mousse
Miznon is a funky little split level eatery, combining street food with casual dining in one of Melbourne’s most famous laneways – Hardware Lane. Unlike many of the larger eateries on this stretch, you won’t see Miznon’s tables lining the walkway – it’s all about busy, cosy dining, being on first name terms with the staff and a sitting stone’s throw from the open kitchen!
There are a variety of seating options. We didn’t visit the upstairs area, but downstairs there were standard tables for 2-4 people, a Spanish steps area for those grabbing a quick bite (or using it as a waiting area) and – in my opinion – the best tables, at the bar by the kitchen. Here you really get to feel part of the action as you hear the staff shouting orders down the line and watch them whip up your dishes before the friendly waiting staff appear to dish it out! Time it right and you might even get to enjoy a shot with the entire kitchen (although let’s hope they don’t do that too many times a night)!
Located to the left of the kitchen is a simple salad bar where you can help yourself to unlimited pita, salad and dips. Then take your pick from their numerous pitas and share dishes. We tried the Waygu pita, caulflower, Sabich, Sardines, Beetroot Carpaccio, Baby Octopus and chips, a taste of the mushrooms, and a chocolate mousse to finish up! Be warned, I didn’t feel like I’d eaten much at all at the time, it was only when I rolled out of there that I realised we’d devoured quite a feast.
Miznon really set the perfect balance between offering some creative vegetarian eats while still keeping meat lovers very happy! Their dishes revolve around simplicity, with simple plating and minimal ingredients but everything tasted fresh and exciting. Starting with the sardines, these had a crisp lemon dressing and although they are a strong fish, the whole dish just left your palate feeling really light and cleansed with their zesty punchy little flavour!
We followed this up with the baby octopus and potatoes. The potatoes had quite a sweet flavour and a nice little crisp, while the octopus is another lovely, light dish. I liked this creative take on street food; Octopus isn’t an ingredient you often see used in these kind of dishes and it goes to highlight the variety of dishes on offer.
Next we had a couple of veggie dishes with the beetroot carpaccio and the Sabach (eggplant). The beetroot was sharper than usual, and there was a nice peppery taste from the seasoning. While it will never stand up to a beef carpaccio in my eyes, it was a fun way to enjoy beetroot and it’s a perfect little sharing dish that won’t fill you up too much. The Sabach has to be the softest eggplant I’ve ever eaten. I’ve no idea how they make it melt in the mouth soft, without becoming slimy, but it’s just fab! Again, unlike anything I’ve ever tried before!
To finish up, we polarised. M.B. the canivore enjoyed the Wagyu pita – seriously, if he delightedly told me it was “all meat” once, he must have said it 20 times, and this melt in the mouth steak pita left a big smile on his face. From a more practical point of view, while it was nicely seasoned and sauced, the pita didn’t become soggy and although well stuffed, would be easy to eat as a quick bite! I opted for the cauliflower (which I have since tried to unsuccessfully recreate at home), a dish which brought out a nutty flavour in the soft cauliflower and again was sheer simplicity, even down to the presentation!
While waiting for our dessert we squeezed in a little taste of the mushrooms, which had a nice chilli kick to them, and definitely left me hankering to go back and try some more dishes in the near future! We finished up with the superb chocolate mousse which was a gorgeous, richly flavoured dessert, and well worth tacking on to your meal for an extra $9!
Address: 59 Hardware Lane, Melbourne CBD
Mon 12pm to 11pm
Tue 12pm to 11pm
Wed 12pm to 11pm
Thu 12pm to 11pm
Fri 12pm to 11pm
Sat 10:30am to 11pm
Parking: It won’t be cheap, but if you want to park nearby, there’s a carpark just at the bottom of Hardware Lane, off Bourke Street. However, personally, I’d either come into the city on PT, or park a little further afield and take advantage of the free tram zone!
Getting here on PT: Hardware Lane itself is a pedestrian laneway, parallel to Elizabeth and Queen Street. Miznon is in the portion between Little Lonsdale and Lonsdale Streets, so the closed public transport options are trams down Elizabeth Street, or buses down Queen or Lonsdale. It’s directly in between Melbourne Central and Flagstaff train stations.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Miznon, Melbourne. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.