Re-emerging in a larger location on Glenhuntly Road, the 100-seat Hanoi Hannah Vol. II has completely overhauled the previous Maxy’s International site, replacing it with a yet another trendy hot-spot to hit the streets of Elsternwick.
The once-drab Glenhuntly Road is seeing a resurgence; thanks in part to the number of fashionable cafes and eateries that now dot the area—Penta, Bang Bang RC and Will’s Batch Ice Cream to name a few—and thanks in part to the Commune hospitality family re-imagining their previous branch of Hanoi Hannah that until just recently, lived in a more casual setting just up the road.
Oozing a level of exclusivity that is sparse in the other Hanoi Hannah branches, Glenhuntly Road’s Hanoi Hannah Vol. II injects personality into the exposed beam, rustic brick look that is so common in the Melbourne food scene. Red neon signs reading “for you by us” adorn the back bar while black concrete walls covered in seemingly handwritten recipes frame the halls to the bathroom. This is complemented by a backdrop of funky music and it’s evident that it’s all part of the vibe, the effortlessly cool vibe – and they hit the nail on the head.
Though perhaps the best feature is the indoor-outdoor seating. Enclosed with heaters during the winters and opening onto the street for those pleasant summer nights, this is ultimately what makes this venue so versatile.
Starting with cocktails is a must and the Volume II New Releases is what will likely grab your attention. For an all-around crowd-pleaser, the blood orange + vanilla sour is your guy but if you prefer something with a bit more of a punch, opt for the maple old fashioned.
It’s suggested to start with two or three smaller dishes – including rice paper rolls and salads – and then work your way towards the middle of the menu where you can feast on dishes like claypot mussels, lemongrass chicken curry and dry aged roast duck. For those who prefer not to have to think, or are perhaps more adventurous, the “All In” chef’s menu for $47 per person will provide you with all you need and more.
Dishes that are a must-not-miss are the Hanoi style spring rolls—which wrap a juicy mixture of pork and woodear mushrooms in a soft vermicelli role—the succulent masterstock braised crispy chicken and the delicious red oil wontons that are stuffed with chicken and prawn and doused in Szechuan chilli vinegar.
Giving outsiders yet another reason to travel to the suburban streets of Elsternwick and insiders a reason to stay, Hanoi Hannah Vol. II is a welcomed addition to the Glenhuntly Road surroundings and the ultimate spot for a small group dinner.
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