Experience the tastes of Tel Aviv at acclaimed Israeli chef Eyal Shani’s newest Miznon restaurant.
In his book, Jerusalem, world renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi described Eyal Shani as “the voice of modern Israeli cuisine”, and now it’s Melbourne’s chance to hear what Shani has to say, with the opening of the Israeli chef’s sixth Miznon restaurant launching in Hardware Lane.
With three Tel Aviv restaurants, as well as stores in Vienna and Paris, Melbourne is the latest city to experience Shani’s unique take on the traditional fare of his homeland. With a seventh restaurant slated to open soon in New York’s uber cool Chelsea district, Melburnians with their finger on the pulse will be able to try out Shani’s street food-meets-haute cuisine before it takes a bite out of the Big Apple. Despite a small but lively Israeli population, traditional cuisine has flown under the radar in Melbourne, with curious diners having to seek out hole-in-the-wall establishments in expat enclaves. But with the opening of Miznon – and the line out the door that opening day saw – Israeli food is soon to become another adopted Melbourne favourite.
Sprawling across two floors of the Hardware Lane restaurant, Miznon has quickly become a favourite with Melbourne foodies and CBD workers alike. While the open kitchen eatery downstairs offers a lively environment with traditional music and waitstaff moving (and shouting!) at a frenetic pace, the upstairs bar is an oasis of chill, tucked away from the hawkers and bustle of Hardware Lane.
The focus is on fresh, local, and simple, with Shani himself sourcing the ingredients that go into making his world famous pitas crowd favourites. Designed to be shared – and eaten out of bags or off parchment paper – the menu boasts dishes that made the original Tel Aviv restaurant a mainstay with locals and tourists. With dishes as simple as fresh green beans, lightly steamed and tossed with just olive oil, lime juice, and salt and packed haphazardly into a paper bag, Shani believes in letting the ingredients speak for themselves. His famous roasted cauliflower is the star of the show, richly flavoursome and fragrant, dressed simply with a creamy dill sauce and a sprinkle of parsley. The cauliflower is so beloved at Miznon that the vegetable even serves as decor, spilling out of shelves and piled high above the bar.
The cauliflower’s co-star – and crowd favourite – are the pitas. Packed full of delicious goodies, and eaten street-food style, the surprisingly extensive pita menu caters to both vegetarian and omnivorous visitors. In fact, Miznon is the perfect place for vegetarian and vegan diners, with the menu favouring fresh and in-season vegetables, while the pitas featuring steak, chicken, and egg will please grill lovers.
So brush up on your Hebrew, and head down to Hardware Lane to experience the flavours of Israel here in Melbourne.
59 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
Open daily: midday-11pm