Max on Hardware (54 – 58 Hardware Lane)
We had been wandering the streets for way too long; a group of six looking for dinner in Melbourne can be quite a difficult task! Most places don’t seem to accept bookings, but six people usually means a decent wait at most places too. And then when you mix in different people’s preferences, budgets etc – it can get tricky, quickly! We were starting to get very hungry by the time we stumbled on Hardware Lane and we could tell immediately that we had hit the jackpot. This ridiculously extensive restaurant Max, had a number of ‘conversationalists’ out on the street, trying to entice people into their restaurant, which literally ran half the length of Hardware Lane. It didn’t take much convincing for us – we were like bees to honey, especially when someone mentioned ‘Italian’!
The menu was massive, it took us quite a while to comb through all the different options (especially in our hungry states, everything sounded delicious). While the staff were super charismatic, they also seemed more interested in turning the tables over then just letting us sit and soak up the atmosphere – I definitely felt hurried as I made my order for drinks and then food. My cousin and I decided to share a halloumi salad as well as a pizza and both were delicious. My aunty ordered the chicken parmigiana, and I can see now why Australia has the claims to the best parmies – it was so ridiculously enormous.
The atmosphere was great, the food good and the prices reasonable. It is a safe option for a family with small kids or for a larger group, as you are sure to find something that will please everyone.