8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Melbourne, Australia
03 9292 8300
After Gordon Ramsay’s Maze tanked in Crown Metropol, Mr Hive took its place not long after. Having heard a number of raving reviews and instagram photos of yuzu cheesecake food porn, I am adamant about going there. Finally we had the chance- we are celebrating Shoe Queen’s birthday and since we have a few entertainment cards, we decided to go and have a feast!
Perusing the menu there are soooo many tempting things to order, especially in the entree department. As I struggled to decided between crab legs to sea trouts to egg soldiers, Dr Ben cleverly decided to order a plethora of entrees to share so we can try a bit of everything. Great choice, cos out of the 9 entrees we got to try 7!
First was the oyster $4. We asked for one each and although 6 oysters did came we only got two forks… erm… what the? The oyster was awful. Wayyyy too salty and gritty, as if they haven’t rinsed it out properly to get rid of the shards of broken oyster shells… surely this is not what they called “let the flavours truly sing”? I almost spat it out and Dr. Ben agreed also it was too salty.
House smoked Tasmanian sea trout horseradish/wasabi leaves was mediocre. For $12, I suppose it is a generous serving for this type of restaurant but the sea trout seemed to be over cooked so it was a bit tough and dry. I could not detect the strong nasal infecting flavours that is normally present in wasabi leaves. To be honest these looked a bit like erm… rocket leaves.
Steamed skate fennel salad/Buddah’s hand $14. I was excited to see this dish- I always wanted to try Buddah’s hand cos it looks so interesting and I wanted to know how these flavours would combine with the skate. I was excited also because the waiter told us this dish uses the “wings” of the fish, and last time I had fish wings at Duke Bistro it was succulent, delicious and flavoursome. Sadly, the steamed version at Mr Hive was tasteless. Really tasteless. I got a piece, ate it, totally forgot what it tasted like and had to try it again. Still pretty tasteless. As for the Buddah’s hand? Well, I think in the picture I can see a bit of yellow hidden under the fish but seriously it’s so small that someone else must have eaten it. To present this as a shared dish I just wished that all parts can be shared.
You know sometimes restaurants uses deceptively simple terms to describe their dish, only to come out with this fabulous creation no one could have ever thought about? I thought Hen Egg and Soldiers $8 (plus extra $10 to add truffle) would be something like that. Sadly I have mistaken. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and this, is just raw egg with little bits of truffle and you can dip some sourdough in it.
Steamed Alaskan king crab legs/ corn bread/coleslaw/Marie-Rose $18. Once again there is two forks for the 6 of us… what the? Perhaps if this is for two to share it should specify on the menu, or the waiter should have told us. Either way I don’t understand how we should be eating this? Are we supposed to tear off some corn bread, top it with coleslaw and sauce and crab meat? I am not too sure but each element was good and the crab legs were very fresh.
I can’t help but snigger at the next dish… the Foie gras & chicken liver parfait, mulberries/ sourdough $12 looked like poo. But it tasted good although I am not a foie gras connoisseur. It’s quite smooth and rich and it was quite light. The only gripe I had was that there was not enough sourdough included in the dish, so we were forced to order extra bread for $4. The bread came in different forms and it was really really yummy though.
We also ordered a little starter- Crispy Little Pig $18, which apparently it’s not to share but we shared it anyway. Good that we did, it’s quite rich. I would prefer my crispy pork skin a little bit crisper and less sticky chewy. The little cubes of watermelon (people first thought it was beetroot because of the colour) nicely cuts the fattiness of the pork.
Slow cooked Marlborough King salmon/crab/sweet corn $34. Whilst it’s a huge portion of fish, I wasn’t impressed by it, nor was Mrs Hot Guns. The salmon was tasteless and the corn/crab mixture was a bit too sweet. The flavours just felt a bit skewed.
Hubby had the Braised ox cheek/carrot puree/jacket potato $30. He said it was alright, but he liked the ones I cooked much better( Well, I just followed Jeroxie’s beef cheek recipe with stout :P).
We also ordered two sides, the brussels sprout salad and Bubble & Squeak, both $7. The brussels sprout salad was more quinoa than sprout, somehow they managed to pluck the brussels sprout apart and the sprouts became little petals. It’s pretty but more petals of brussels sprouts and less quinoa would have been nice!
We were warned about the Bubble and Squeak being small but this is quite miniature! It was described as leftovers being thrown together and baked and I didn’t remember which smart alec ordered it 😉 It was quite nice for the one small bite I had, more like cauliflower mash than anything else.
Dessert time! Hubby had the Mrs Hive’s chocolate bar peanuts/caramel $18. I only got to try a little bit of it because hubby ate it so quickly, but it was rich and the base was crunchy. I thought it was quite nice.
Finally, I get to try THE dessert I have been dying to try FOREVER: Ricotta cheesecake
yuzu/ginger/nuts/seeds $16. Dr. Ben had the same thing and he was sad that it was deconstructed. I think cos we are both huge base fans, we would like it to have a bit of a base rather than just linseed and crushed nuts scattered all over the cheesecake. Having said that I actually quite like the nuts and linseed bits. I am not a huge fan of ginger and thankfully the ginger came in dollops and I managed to manuever away from it all. The dollops of yuzu curd though, I almost wanted to lick my plate! The yuzu sorbet was light and refreshing too which I love. The cheesecake itself was too smooth for my liking and not very creamy at all, it’s like a thick jelly more than cheesecake.
Overall I thought Mr Hive has a great menu, but the execution lacks finesse and the service was also a little bit sloppy. If it wasn’t for our Entertainment Book discount which gave us $100 off our final bill, which left our wallets $60 per person lighter, I wouldn’t think it’s very value for money. 5.5/10