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15° & CLEAR SKY ON MONDAY 18 NOVEMBER IN MELBOURNE
By Libby Curran
October 21, 2015
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The Mill House

Channel the Prohibition era and sip moonshine below street level.
By Libby Curran
October 21, 2015
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BOOK A TABLE

These days, Flinders Lane has no shortage of wining and dining hot-spots, but newcomer, The Mill House has a personality all its own. A great option for inner-city drinks, a lunchtime bite or a casual dinner, this relaxed bar and eatery boasts sophisticated, modern styling, along with a raft of heritage touches referencing those good old days of Prohibition.

Step down into the bluestone building, and you'll find the subterranean spot surprisingly large, with a big central bar, flanked by a dining space in front and a more moodily-lit area back by the kitchen. Featuring large, circular booths overlooking the DJ, this latter spot is prime real estate: a comfy cave-like space where after-work drinks turn easily into dinner and then a dance session, as furniture is rolled away and tunes are cranked up a few notches.

Here, you can relax with a few wines and craft beers, or really kick it Prohibition-style, delving into the bar's range of moonshine. The line-up's a whimsical nod to those historical elements you'll find around the place, with a variety to suit everyone — knock it back neat, mixed or even in a cocktail.

If you're there to fill your belly, the kitchen's serving up some impressive plates, the menu ranging from share dishes both big and small, to a globally-influenced pizza selection. Innovative plating alludes to the chef's fine dining training, while the South American flavours hint at his heritage.

A beef empanada ($5) is just about as moreish as starters get, stuffed with a perfectly seasoned mince mix, pepped up with chimmichurri and dusted with icing sugar. Tackle this one solo, then follow it up with something more sharable, like the punchy kingfish ceviche ($18.50), cured in that zesty Peruvian marinade known as tiger's milk.

For the main event, it's protein all the way. Think sticky, smoked pork belly, teamed with cous cous and a rich Malbec jus ($24), or a tender chunk of brisket ($25), served alongside herby crushed potatoes and a pool of parsley puree.

All that meat will probably prompt you to order a 2 litre growler bottle of Young Henry's for the table. It's a bit of a novelty, but at $32, proves solid value for craft beer-lovers who've missed out on the $6.50 happy hour pints.

Whether you''e in need of a feed, an interesting tipple or simply an escape from the CBD bustle above, this Flinders Lane hideout is here to help.

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