Restaurant Guide

Rare Hare: Restaurant review


166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North


Fri-Sun 11am-9pm;
Lunch Mon-Thu noon-5pm;
Dinner Fri-Sat 5.30pm-8.30pm


E $16-$18
M $36-$38
D $12


Whether you're a guest at adjacent Jackalope Hotel or a Mornington Peninsula wine-tripper doing the rounds, Rare Hare is a fine place to seek sustenance. The timber-and brick dining room is generally abuzz: views over vine-threaded hills anchor the wine-country story and long shared tables promote conviviality. The food is robust: unfussy, built for sharing and licking of fingers. A wood oven is the heart of this kitchen, touching everything from broccoli with parmesan custard to barramundi wings with sweet, spicy 'nduja butter, and even an oversized pan-baked choc-chip cookie with a scoop of toasty malt ice-cream. It's easy to build a meal from snacks: first-rate salumi is served with pickles and crisp toasts, a chive waffle is piled with horseradish cream and salmon roe, and fiercely fried Jerusalem artichokes are set to become everyone's favourite new chip. The estate Willow Creek and Rare Hare wines dominate the drinks list, with almost all available by the glass. It's busy on weekends: come early or be prepared to take a buzzer for a kitchen garden wander or into the wine tasting ante-room while you wait.
(03) 5931 2501
Bookings recommened, for 10+ at lunch only
  • Licensed
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Wheelchair access
  • Outdoor dining
Accepted card types:
  • American Express
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Guy Stanaway & Andy Bryant
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.