Bars & pubs

publik wine bar cape town
Around South Africa in 80 wines, Bars & pubs, Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa’s best wine bar is?

There are many places to drink wine in South Africa. But there are few wine bars and even fewer that hit the spot like Cape Town’s Publik. It’s a sad state of affairs when rather than visit a wine bar, I prefer to tap into my own cellar at home. But first, let’s look at what we want from a wine bar. In my previous home city of Melbourne, a wine bar would focus on boutique producers of wine (sometimes […]

Bars & pubs, Eat streets

Check the Vue at Lui Bar

The view alone is worth it at the new Vue de Monde. Photo: Adriane Strampp In case you hadn’t heard,Lui Bar at Shannon Bennett’s new Vue de Monde at the top of The Rialto is open to all comers. And it is not only worth it for the drinks but the vue (view geddit?) of the traffic streaming through Melbourne at night. The attention to detail and the levels of service at Lui Bar are unmatched in Australia. First you […]

Bars & pubs, Drinks, Eat streets

Start queueing for Bar Americano

Like its name, the fit out of this latest Der Raum spin-off is very slick and let’s say Americano. That’s slick tiling and panelling. The narrow bar inset with copper. And the fact it’s very very exclusive, allowing only 15 people in at once. That means while you are there sipping you hanky panky (above) behind the shut gate, late coming friends have to wait in the cold with nothing but Melbourne’s smallest artspace, the Twenty by Thirty gallery, to […]

Bars & pubs, Eat streets, greek, Restaurants

Little Press and the mini wagyu burger

Mikro Bifteki – the $7 mini wagyu burger It’s the sort of thing we all say: “I’ll meet you at Movida Next Door at 6.30.” Of course, you can’t squeeze in without a 40 minute wait. And Movida itself is full. And an ill-tempered waitress at Coda inevitably tells you to F-ck off. Next time, try dropping into The Little Press & Cellar (listen out for really annoying music) for a couple of drinks and a few nibbles. The staff […]

Bars & pubs, Drinks, gin, Richmond

Drama at Der Raum

It’s about theatre. And Der Raum does it well. Gin – there’s a selection of all the good stuff – is chilled with liquid nitrogen. It boils in a glass jug with clouds spilling down its sides and along the bar counter. When the ice clears from the surface, it is safe to sip. And it is a good martini. A very clean martini. It’s not one that will bitch slap you in the face – although I like those. […]

Bars & pubs, Drinks

1806 and the pole dancer

The bittered sling. The really bad news is that the posse is falling apart. My favourite pole dancer is leaving town. I can only console myself with her leaving celebrations on Sunday, possibly followed by a return to 1806, a classy new arrival on the bar scene despite its Dracula theatre restaurant and backpacker bar roots. I’ve been challenged to drink the menu at 1806 by the posse. Draped in red velvet and with what I presume are crystal chandeliers […]

Bars & pubs, Eat streets, Restaurants

Wednesday pie porn

A home made steak and kidney pie sits upon an island of mashed potato stranded in a sea of peas drowning in brown gravy at The Hotel Lincoln (91 Cardigan Street +61 3 9347 4666). What more do you want to celebrate the cold, wet squalls on the eve of the winter solstace? Well, a log fire, possible some beer – stout I guess – and plenty of red wine.

Bars & pubs, Drinks

Top ten gins, Hendrick’s and other tales

The empty Hendrick’s bottle at Madame Brussels All we could find were empty bottles on dusty shelves. Quite possibly I drank the last drop of Hendrick’s Gin in Melbourne at Madame Brussels (Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria +61 3 9662 2775) the other night. Owner Vernon Chalker kindly had his last drop – about a third of a shot – mixed into an exquisite Martini. We’d trawled the whole of Melbourne for the stuff. Alex at Ginger (272 […]

Bars & pubs

Astroturfing this weekend sir?

With astroturfing being a theme among food bloggers over the past week or so, it’s time I took you to a brothel. Sorry, not brothel but Madame Brussels, a bar named after a famous brothel that operated in Melbourne in the late 1900s. With its astroturfed, kitsch garden theme Madame Brussels (Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne +61 3 9662 2775) sits three floors up in a fairly dreadful office building with an entrance garnished with worn fawn carpet (and […]