310 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 300003 9620 1881
|Opening hours||Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm,Mon-Wed 5.30pm-9.30pm,Thurs-Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||AMEX, Mastercard, Visa, eftpos|
Hako has evolved with quiet distinction from a buzz-worthy laneway bolthole into a comfortably familiar piece of CBD furniture, perhaps no longer as hip but still happening. Its dark timber floor, whitewashed walls and rows of chunky ornamental sake bottles express a stripped-back sense of style that is ageing well, while waitstaff show cool composure but are never too cool. The menu is built around modern Japanese drinking food, but with a bow to culinary tradition. Novel izakaya-style morsels abound, perhaps crumbed pork fillet with sweet-sour tomato and fuji apple puree, or piquant chicken fingers filled with mentaiko roe and shiso leaf with dipping mayo. Slow-cooked beef ribs are as warming as thick socks, the fall-apart meat and soft carrot half-submerged in sticky sweet soy and peppercorn sauce. Bountiful moriawase is loaded with delectable sushi and velvety sashimi. Dessert choices are more minimal than the decor.