Posts Tagged Bars

Garden State Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

I don’t normally walk along Flinders Lane but have now been here two weeks in a row after Supernormal last week.

A couple of us decided to head out for a beer after work and a friend chose the Garden State Hotel on Flinders Lane.

Given the proximity to Collins Street the place was heaving when I arrived just before 6pm on a Thursday night.

The venue is a sprawling place over 4 levels with a couple of bars to grab drinks from.

We managed to nab a table down the back towards the Rose Garden under the trees, it was a very nice location and there was a standard choice of beers and a bar menu.

We decided to eat here but we should have known the meal wouldn’t be overly good when we ordered our steaks medium-rare only to be told we’d get them how the chef decided to cook them! Seriously, WTF? For $22 we got an overcooked minute steak that was quite underwhelming. The only saving grace were the Roasted Potatoes.

The way the place has been built, with bare concrete walls and glass roof made the place an echo chamber so it was impossible to have a conversation over the noise of everyone else and the blaring music.

So after we finished our food we decided that we’d move onto somewhere where you could actually talk to the person next to you.

By all means, go to the Garden State Hotel for drink, but I’d be skipping the food!

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The Elysian Whisky Bar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

Are you a Whisky fan? Do you like tasting gems that you’ll probably never see again. If you answered yes to both of these then you should jump on the number 11 tram and head down to Brunswick Street Fitzroy.

Elysian was started by a couple of folk who used to work at Whisky and Alement in the city and rather than stock the same whiskies that everyone else does, the Elysian team strive to stock the bar with unique and limited edition bottles.

While we perused the extensive menu we started with a decent local pale ale by Hawkers Beer.

But it wasn’t too long until we started our tour of whiskies of the world.

First stop was a Japanese blended malt – Ichiro’s Malt Mizunara Wood Reserve. A splendid drop to start the evening with. See https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/ichiros-malt-mizunara-wood-reserve-whisky/.

We then moved Scotland for a 17 year old single malt from Gordon & MacPhail. The Ledaig 1999 Connoisseurs Choice was had subtle flavours followed by a very smoky aftertaste. See https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/tobermory/ledaig-1999-bottled-2015-connoisseurs-choice-gordon-and-macphail-whisky/.

We back tracked to India once I saw an Amrut on the list. We ordered an Amrut single cask 888 a very dark whisky with a very fruity smell and taste – almost reminded me of a sticky. I particularly liked this drop. See https://www.thewhiskycompany.com.au/product/amrut-cask-888-virgin-oak-matured-indian-single-cask-whisky/.

Lastly we headed over to the US for a Noah’s Mill small batch bourbon. It’s a blend of whiskeys from 4 to 20 years old. It was a contrast to what we’d been drinking and took me back to my uni days. A decent nip to finish of the evening. See https://www.masterofmalt.com/Whiskies/noahs-mill-whisky/.

There’s a small kitchen that serves a small number of dishes to accompany your drinks. We shared the cured meat selection which would have been the size of a entree.

If you love unique whiskies then you should make your way to Elysian.

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TAP Craft Beer Bar, Singapore

TAP Craft Beer Bar in the Capitol Theatre in Singapore is a magnificent bar that I have visited several times before.

And so it was a short trip to Singapore between Christmas and New Year that saw me pulling out the bar stool at the bar of TAP for a couple of refeshing ones.

The tap beer menu is very good and constantly changing so you’ll always find something to your liking.

Mid afternoon on New Years Eve I was wandering back from a great lunch and popped in for a beer and noticed that there was a special offer going. For $15 you get 3 beers from the tap beer menu. Any beers – it was a pretty good deal but you didn’t get pints as you usually would, the glasses were slightly smaller.

My choices were:

  • Coronado IPA
  • Coronado Pilsner
  • Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat

The Coronado beers were pretty good, but I just couldn’t get into the Tangerine Wheat… but I had to try it!

Give TAP a go, if you like beer, you’ll like TAP.

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The Mint, Melbourne, Australia

The Mint is a reasonable bar and restaurant situated in the gatehouse of the former Royal Mint in Melbourne.

It’s in a central location on the corner of La Trobe and William Streets, right across the road from Flagstaff Gardens, Flagstaff Station and the Federal Court. You get a decent flow of people popping in for after works drinks before jumping on a tram or train.

On a lazy summer’s Thursday evening the patio area out the back wasn’t too busy so we were able to get a large table which we would end up occupying until closing time @ 10pm.

The drinks menu is fairly decent with around 10 beers and ciders on tap and many more available in bottles.

Our main poison for the evening was a McCracken Amber Ale. Its a quite refreshing, hoppy drinks. At $12.50 for a “metric pint”, aka 500ml, it was on the more expensive side of beers in Melbourne.

The others were onto the white wine and champagne and there were no complaints.

We’d heard good things about the kitchen here so decided to stay for dinner.

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I’m a sucker for pork so when I saw a pork belly on the menu my mind was made up. My friends also ordered the beef burger, which was one of the specials that day, and salmon.

In all, we all really enjoyed our meals though I thought my pork belly was on the smallish side.

Mint is a good place to enjoy a drink and a feed if you don’t mint paying slightly higher prices than you’d be paying in other bars in the city. Foodwise the dishes were great but could have been a little larger.

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Bier Central, Antwerp, Belgium

This is a very interesting place for beer lovers. It’s on the food and drink street of De Keyserlei directly west of Antwerp Central station just north of the Diamant area.

The first thing that will hit you is the HUGE selection of beers that you can choose from. Tap beer, bottled beer… you name it it’s probably available.

When you sit down you will find a copy of The Beer Encyclopedia – their beer list! It’s bigger than some magazines you buy at a newsagent.

I’d originally popped in early afternoon (around 1:45 I think) after having Chinese food for lunch to have ‘a couple’ before heading back to my hotel but the day didn’t work out that way. I got back to my hotel around 8:30 whoops).

From what I can work out from my receipts I partook in

  • La Ramee Amber
  • Ramee Blond
  • Boerinneke
  • Hercule Stout
  • Divers Bar

They also have food (thank God!) so I chose a pizza before closing out the tab to make sure I’d buy no more beer!

Surprisingly, no hangover the next morning which was good as I needed to pack and take the train to Amsterdam.

 This is a place NOT to be missed when you are in Antwerp.

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