Why hello Hamer Hall. You are looking oh-so-tempting in your new outfit. I envision myself strolling along your Yarra-side promenade many times in search of a bite and a drink once summer truly hits Melbourne. For a quick snack Trocadero may have the best chips in town, but for cocktails my pick is Sake. I visited for an afternoon power lunch at the restaurant recently but somehow found myself perched on a barstool come time for dessert.
Like its Sydney counterpart, Sake Bar is obviously dedicated to a modern version of the eastern drinking experience. Try and educate yourself about as many different versions of sake and shochu (a spirit, beginners should try the plum version ‘umeshu’) as you and your knowledgeable bartender can handle. The Fuyu Margarita (tequila, apple & chestnut liqueur, hazelnut liqueur, lime) is a subtle twist on the original, while the Yuzu Sour (whisky x 2, yuzu, lemon) shows off the tangy Japanese fruit for citrus lovers. You can imbibe the aforementioned cocktails alongside that (now ubiquitous whether the venue is Japanese inspired or not) barsnack, edamame. But the bar menu by ex-Nobu group chef Rose Ang may tempt you away from the popular salty soybean snack with beef tataki and steamed wagyu dumplings. And do see if you can get a round of Sake’s wonderful sashimi tacos – accompanied by shots of Kozaemon Junmai sake – sent over from the restaurant.
Remember Japanese etiquette; it’s always polite to fill up your barmate’s sake cup once empty.
Find Sake Bar at the Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall, 100 St Kilda Road Melbourne. Kampai!