Curiously enough, Prahran's best-kept secret lies hidden right among the buzz of the intersection of Chapel and High — in true speakeasy style, the bar is tucked away right under everyone's noses.
The sister cafe Promise Bar sits behind might throw you off the scent, but if the neon Japanese turning signal on the roof is aglow, you'll know you're on the right track. Through the back and beyond the door signed 'staff only', lies a grungy, late-night cocktail lounge, with moody lighting, timber panelling and lots of cosy corners.
You won't find an actual cocktail menu here, rather, a choose-your-own-adventure situation where bartenders design your ultimate sip based on the selections you tick on a 'Pick Your Promise' card. Choose your preferred spirit, request a certain flavour profile, or get really adventurous, and pick only the colour of your liquor.
As much as possible is made in-house, from dehydrated fruits to dried rose petal garnishes, and there's a tight range of toasties to indulge your snacky side while you drink.
Meanwhile, Promise Cafe in front has plenty to keep you entertained during daylight hours, with its expertly handled Allpress coffee, easygoing snack menu and minimalist, plant-filled fit-out.