Central Restaurant Has It Going On

As any Hazelwood resident can tell you, Central Restaurant is worth more than just a visit, it’s worth several. Indeed, if return business is any measure of good food, Central has clearly got something right.

Many patrons close to the Village have made a habit of popping in and – be warned – while they’re “not trying to be cool” as the website says, seating is limited on any given evening, so book first!

A Greek-influenced venue, Central prides itself on great meat offerings, a great atmosphere, and what can probably best be termed as a Mediterranean fusion menu. Embracing fluidity while mindful of “flavour and balance,” Central makes much of keeping its staff and clients happy, and it shows. There’s a feelgood to eating there that’s uncommon, because everyone seems like they’re pulling together as, well, a family.

When an eatery says that they … take nothing for granted… and appreciate every person that walks through our doors,” you can expect to find a warm welcome. That you’ll get, plus personal attention and a menu many others could do well to emulate. The venue was named “Central” because “family, food and love” are central to life, and all can be found here at any time of the day or night. Having adopted the philosophy of “filotimo” – it means to “honour your friend” in Greek – the way Central charms you is with a sufficiently diverse menu (although not confusingly extensive) where everything is done with love!

That might sound corny, but you’ll only say that if you haven’t eaten there. Subtle, small tweaks on steak cuts, a playful exuberance in a chicken sauce – you’ll see. Very, very few venues get to beat mom’s home cooking, but this is one of them.

When last did you have good service from good people?

The way to a civilized settlement on whether the steak, ribs or chicken is the best, is to try them all. No matter that you might “like what you like” and stick religiously to a single dish no matter where you eat, Central is an inviting space to branch out. Everything is yummy, and it’s a safe space to do it. Everything has the same love and attention put into it. Your dinner time is their showtime – there’s a lot of rehearsal in the run-up that patrons never see, but you can taste it.

Traditional breakfasts, French breakfast, cereals, starters and assorted small dish nibbles – the menu really is diverse. Moving right along to a main evening meal, there are honestly yummy vegetarian dishes, an assortment of steak cuts and lamb chops that have made grown men weep with joy in public, and somehow also something for everyone. Central’s menu is a magic trick – seemingly fairly simple yet seldom unable to cater for even the pickiest eaters. 

Here, you’ll have the assurance that you don’t have to worry about whether some or other dish is going to be done well – all you have to decide is whether a particular dish is to your taste. Everything is done well. There are lots of restaurants that will serve up well presented, tasty food. Central will do that, but put a whole lot more thought into things, operating as they do on a more personal and receptive level. At Central, it’s as though good food is served up as you like it, rather than you being the lucky recipient of someone’s famous recipe. There’s a difference, and the difference is a genuine caring about you enjoying your meal and overall experience.

Eat there, and you’ll see. They take your experience personally – just like they take personal responsibility for every plate of food being all it can be – and that’s rare. Many say it, here they’ll do it. They source only grain fed beef from a single supplier, shop aggressively for fresh produce daily (they start most dishes from scratch, on the premises) and are in step with the modern discerning consumer on food and environmental issues – another feather in their cap.

Central says that it caters for those who are engaged in “the search for authentic experiences.” That’s it. Authentic food, cooked by people who care. You can taste the difference.