Above a Chinese restaurant, find a world with three bears and drinks that are just right.
Melbourne hospitality folk are getting better and better at finding weird and wonderful locations for bars, and Goldilocks is no exception. This particular watering hole is found four levels above a Chinese restaurant at the top end of Swanston Street. Enter via the restaurant, fend off the eager wait staff and take the elevator up. As you step out, it's a world apart from the bustle of below. Calm, dark, sophisticated. Something about it, just like its namesake nursery rhyme would have us believe, is just right.
The team is headed up by bar manager Lou Dare (ex Amelia Shaw, New Gold Mountain, Double Happiness and briefly Kodiak Club) and, only weeks after opening, they are seemingly on top of the small, yet considered, menu that is all about local produce (they make exceptions for things like Bourbon — but who wouldn't?) The cocktail offering features an ever-changing selection of six cocktails. And, like most venues, they'll whip you up something else if nothing takes your fancy.
Try the Drunken Chicken Sazerac, with Hennesey VS, Peychaud's bitters and chicken fat-washed ginger syrup ($18) or, for something with less poultry, go for the Tea Time — a mix of West Winds Gin, St Germaine elderflower, 'Gone Surfin' Tea Syrup', lemon, grapefruit and floral bitters ($20).
The wine and beer list stick to the small side as well. For bubbles go for the Bottega Prosecco ($11 glass) or, for white, try the Tomich Hill Pinot Grigio ($10 glass). The Hedonist Shiraz ($13 glass) is one serious red and a whole lot of woman, and beer drinkers can go Australian with the Mountain Goat Hightail Ale ($10) or the Murray's 'Dark Knight' Porter ($10).
The food menu is picnic themed and offers small bites and sharing platters. Bites might see truffle butter popcorn ($8) or three little pig sliders ($15), while the sharing platters offer larger dishes like Chicken Little — Katie's Fried Chicken with dill pickles and three bear sauce ($18) — and Miss Muffet's Curd cheese selection (p.o.a).
Goldilocks was fussy, but she sure knew when something was just so right.