Berlin Bar & Ling Nam or "Why I love Melbourne"3/16/2010 11:00:00 PM
So, Sydney was great, but I am truly, madly, deeply a Melbourne girl. On Saturday night we went out to celebrate my bro's girlfriend Su's birthday. First stop, a dingy laneway bar, followed by late-night Chinatown supper! You can't get more Melbourne than that!
16 Corrs Lane
Ph: (03) 9639 3396
Well, it was only going to be a matter of time before I made my way to the new German-themed bar in Melbourne.
Berlin Bar is on Corrs lane, right next to Eurotrash, and you have to climb some stairs and ring a bell before someone lets you in. Our waitress was super-nice and friendly, but apparently the guy who let Su in had a bit of an attitude. Incidentally, we found that lots of the waiters were French, and we didn't spot any Germans. (Not a big deal, obviously, just interesting to note).
The bar is split into East and West Berlin, with appropriate decor. We sat in "East Berlin". Our table was a bathtub, there were bunk beds and ammo boxes around, and The Great Dictator was (rather anachronistically) projected onto one of the walls.
It was table service only, and for some reason the drinks list that we got was much more limited than the website. Either way, there were some cocktails, and a good selection of German beers. (Sadly, the Feuerzangenbowle didn't appear to be available).
Unfortunately the cocktail list isn't available on the website, so I am going from memory here. Apologies if I've missed any ingredients!
Top Left: Funkturm - Cocktail with grapefruit juice - $18
Top Right: Checkpoint Charlie - Hennessey & Chambord, some juices and a pepper-rim - $18
Bottom Left: Pear & Muscovado Julep - $18
Bottom Right: Love Parade - Can't remember the alcohols, but it had muddled strawberries - $18
Of the cocktails we ordered (most of us were drinking beer), my faves were the Love Parade and the deliciously grapefruity Funkturm. However, I can't say that the cocktails blew us away - there are heaps of bars in Melbourne that do a larger range of cocktails, at similar prices, but better quality. (Match, Toff's and Polly spring to mind, although I'm sure there are many more). I also prefer Champagne or vodka-based cocktails, and they didn't have too many of them here.
I was going to go to Berlin Bar for my birthday this year, but I'll probably choose somewhere else now. Although, if they start serving German-themed bar snacks, I'd be back in a flash!
The bathtub table.
As usual, all that drinking makes you hungry, and at around 2:30am we were feeling peckish. Luckily for us, it was a very short walk down to Ling Nam for supper.
204 Lt Bourke St
Ph: (03) 9663-2347
We always seem to end up at Ling Nam after a night of drinking (which actually doesn't happen that often for me; I'm a responsible adult now!) It's my favourite CBD supper place. Yes, I like it more than Supper Inn - gasp! And, it's open til 3:30!
Here's what the 10 of us ate:
Clams in XO sauce with Crullers - It's a house speciality, I think. Every table seems to have a plate of these, and I've never seen this dish at another restaurant.
Double serve of deep-fried chicken ribs with salt and chilli. Crazy-strong with the MSG but still tasty!
Massive bowl of plain congee to share.
Sweet and Sour Prawns. Yes, we teased Justin that he was being really Aussie ordering sweet and sour prawns, but by god these were good!
Stir-fried spinach. Because green vegetables will cancel out all the alcohol and fried food, yes? Delicious.
Double-serving of salt and pepper calamari. Oh yes.
And that, my friends, is one of the reasons why I love Melbourne.