Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wintour&Guinness: Cocktail Fever In Melbourne

Melbourne is a mecca for foodies and those that like a tipple or two. And I am not talking those that have an over dependence to alcohol. Melbourne fascination with cocktails and mixology is being feed with an influx of trendy bars such as that of The Seamstress and The Croft Institute. The Seamstress is an Asian street style inspired bar cum restaurant and boy was this my kind of place to chill out away from the crowds and the noise of the city streets. Relaxed and chilled, my small group of friends made of up Kevin, Kaley, Ben, Darkus and myself sipped cocktails such as my personal favourite, the venetian Bellini which was a mix of dry sherry, pomegranate, peach and sparkling wine. Each of us enjoyed the quaintness of the venue, which had laundry lines hanging from the ceiling with clothes attached. This place was amazing and the potato wedge which so many restaurants seem to have trouble doing (despite some of the top venues in Melbourne buying in frozen produce) is done to perfection here. Super-sized pieces of crispy golden potatoes were accompanied by an Asian inspired mayonnaise.

With cocktails firmly on the brain, the group decided to move onto The Croft Institute. Several months ago, the artistic duo Adrian + Shane sent me their list of top places I should visit here in Melbourne, this included bars, restaurants and cultural sites. Waiting for the right time to visit, this place is so far removed from the streets of Chinatown that one needs a guide to find it and thankfully we did have one, Darkus.

The Croft Institute is one of those places that one would never visit during the day. I am not even sure its open during the day. Its down a long windy alley and would probably remind many of a crime scene from Law & Order. Drinking Chartreuse and apple (with a hint of lemon and honey) over ice, the drink also come with something that you don't usually find in any other bar, a syringe. This is one of the bars signature drinks and as you can see from the picture quite fun.

Becoming busy and nearing eleven, we decided to leave to grab some food. I cant tell you how happy and satisfied we were with the quality of the service and drinks during our time at The Croft Institute, but unfortunately that happiness was short lived as by the time we walked out the front door my friends and I were heckled about our inappropriate footwear and clothing by some random employee washing down the path. Granted flip flops are not the most appropriate choice of footwear for a busy bar at night but there is a time and a place and most definitely a way to tell your customers the appropriate dress code. Let me end this by saying, we all left with a sour taste in our mouth.


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