Melbourne is a great city and the very best part of it (from the miniscule amount of time I have spent there) is the bohemian area of Fitzroy and specifically Brunswick Street (pictured). This throughfare is lined with brilliant bars, restaurants, shops – all colourful, slightly run down in a fashionable way and full of out of work actors working the tables. Think of a cuisine and Brunswick St caters for it – even Afghan food, and the quality of tucker on offer wherever you go is outstanding.
Then there are the brilliant bars. Half way down is Ginger, which lays claim to being one of the top 20 cocktail bars in the world. Certainly the wasabi capriosca the AsiaScribbler imbibed was suitably ingenious, blending spice and sour to drunken effect.
Still, just a few doors down is, for my money (and, doff of cap here to my sister and her boyfriend for steering me here in the first place) is an even more inventive cocktail bar – called the Black Pearl, oh aaaagh. So creative and inspired are the select number of drinks here that I took the liberty of purloining the menu, all in the name of journalistic/blog research, you understand.
What the alcohol chemists behind the bar do here is phenemonal in mixing certain ingredients that on paper make you wince at the prospect, but on supping make you drool with delight.
Take the Spring Martini, A$16, which according to the blurb is a “myriad palate of flavours activating every pleasure sensor on your tongue.” The ingredients are Hanwoods Port, Gin, Fresh Raspberries, a little Balsamic Vinegar (!) and Cranberry Juice. Vinegar in my martini glass? Are you having a laugh, as Ricky Gervais’s character in Extras might say, but I tell you what it works a treat.
Similarly excellent is the Marjini (pronounced Ma-hee-nee), which allegedly is a “margarita for ‘las personas del sol’”. El Jimador Tequila, Jasmine Syrup, Sauvignon Blanc, and Lime is served with a Corriander Salt lacing and is some of the best A$15 you will spend in Melbourne.
The Black Pearl is a treasure trove in a street lined with gems.