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12° & RAINY ON FRIDAY 22 NOVEMBER IN MELBOURNE
By Libby Curran
November 06, 2019
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Byrdi

This new CBD cocktail haven comes from minds behind one of the world's best bars.
By Libby Curran
November 06, 2019
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She's already sporting a diverse lineup of eateries, a program of live tunes, art installations and even a boutique bottle shop. Now, Melbourne's new CBD food and entertainment precinct Ella has added to the family again, this time with a venue that's sure to impress the city's cocktail aficionados.

Cocktail bar Byrdi is the latest venture and first Aussie project for Luke Whearty and Aki Nishikura — the bartending masterminds responsible for Singapore's multi award-winning Operation Dagger. Given the venue has claimed a spot among the World's 50 Best Bars for four years running (and currently sits at number 30), we're expecting Byrdi to bring some pretty exciting things to the party.

At the bar, seasonality and locality aren't just passing flings — they're at the heart of absolutely everything Whearty and Nishikura do. Expect a constantly evolving cocktail list that showcases local ingredients sourced at their peak, with no two visits to be the same. Native botanicals are set to star throughout, while the 40-seat space itself heroes sustainable materials like bluestone and coconut husk flooring.

Right now, you'll find sips like the In Bloome — a mix of freshly hand-picked jasmine, gin, Applewood's Red Okar, lavender tincture, mandarin vinegar and a house-made pear blossom liqueur. There's a handful of house-fermented creations, too, including a take on the much-loved Weis Bar with fermented Northern Territory mango, Gippsland cream and mango vinegar — along with highballs and a tight rotation of local craft beers and wines. The funky drops get plenty of airtime here, as do ingredients like strawberry gum and smoked davidson plum.

The food lineup is concise, but clever, also built around local, seasonal goodies. Find the likes of tempura salt and vinegar green beans, grilled tiger prawns teamed with finger lime and broccolini matched with a fortified macadamia cream. Tired of decisions? Settle in with the three-course ($75) or five-course ($120) food and drink pairing menu.

Byrdi joins Ella's ever-growing collection of food and drink haunts, alongside the likes of Chilli Everest, Lomah, Sam Sam and Reverie.

Images: Kate Shanasy.

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