Hoo haa kitchen’s new Italian food focus

Posted by Josette Dunn on 24th November 2010

A Chapel Street favourite of long-standing, in the five years since it was first launched, Hoo haa has cemented a well-deserved reputation as one of Melbourne’s hippest bars and lounges.More recently Hoo haa’s restaurant has also emerged as a destination for seriously good food in the competent hands of new Head Chef Jess Barnes. Jess spent his formative years working alongside Guy Grossi at Grossi Florentino and honing his experience overseas, before returning to Melbourne recently to head up the Hoo haa kitchen.

Jess was brought on board to provide a more sophisticated menu and future plans include elevating Jess to Executive Chef to continue to look after Hoo haa and also develop the menu for a flagship venue to be opened in mid-2011. The new restaurant, also located in Windsor, will allow Jess to create the kitchen and menu from scratch, expanding his culinary talents.

Jess’s menu is steeped in the Mediterranean tradition of sharing and brings together his love of beautiful regional Italian cuisine with a modern technique and flair, and features only the freshest local Victorian produce. Every delicious morsel from the freshly baked bread to delicate hand-rolled gnocchi emerging from the kitchen is also made daily in-house and cooked to order.

Combine this with a recently refurbished dining space that is both contemporary and intimate, and it is no wonder that Hoo haa is gaining popularity as the place to start the night, as well as the one to finish it.