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!

Berlin Bar
16 Corrs Lane
Melbourne, 3000
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 -
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.

Ling Nam
204 Lt Bourke St
Melbourne 3000

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.

Ling Nam on Urbanspoon

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  1. Oh we really wanted to check out Berlin Bar when we were in Melbourne last weekend but ran out of time. I love the idea - Melbourne has so many cool bars that yes, I truly am jealous. Next time I will have to be organised and arrange a meet-up :)

  2. I love how this is your go to drunken food. For me it is the McAngus. It is so bad, but it tastes great at the time. Unlike the next morning :(

  3. Funnily, I went to Berlin last month, have put up a few pics on my blog. Why were there French waiters? The mind boggles ;)
    Another piece of trivia is that my parents used to drive us all the way across Paris to a Chinese restaurant called Ling Nam. They had heard of it from a Chinese friend and it was supposed to be super authentic.

  4. OMG... we end up in the same supper place after drinks. Ling Nam is my kind of fast food after night of many drinks. And we practically order the same dishes as well.... mwuahhaa!

  5. I agree re: Berlin Bar. Had a very lacklustre experience there, was expecting at least some tasty german nibblies and good german beer, but there's relatively very little that's actually german themed on the menu. Boo!! And yes, lots of french waiters... they had german on the front door, so I spoke german when they answered it, and the guy just looked at me VERY strangely. Whoops!

    Der Raum is much better imo (though I haven't been back for a couple of years, but I know a lot of people who have been lately and loved it).

    I just wish we had as many german bars, bakeries and restaurants as Sydney has...

  6. Yeah, yeah, Melbourne is amazing, but Canberra has... um.... we have... Silo? Fiddlesticks, I think I'm going to lose this argument before it's begun :P

  7. I feel stupid because I totally didn't know about Ling Nam and I've been going to Supper Inn and getting abused by the waiters there! I'm switching over immediately. Any other supper nuggets of wisdom?

  8. deep fried chicken...looks yummy delicious...I would eat as much as my heart could take!

  9. Susu ala nunu12:23 AM

    Hi sarah! thanks for coming to my Bday drinks and supper! Love your blog! xoxo

  10. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Love ling nam.. I stuck with it even after the failed hygene inspection and the related horrific write-up in the age. Serves best salt and pepper calamari in melb in my opinion. Good scallop congee.. also like the pork ribs in peking sauce. the xo clams are great too.
    Though I try to avoid any dish with "sweet and sour", "honey" or lemon in the description as a general rule. Even if I felt inclined to, as a gwei lo I could never live it down if one of my asian friends saw order something like that.



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.