Arbory Afloat 2021–22
This year, Melbourne's summer floating bar is inspired by Turkey's Turquoise Coast, serving up Mediterranean bites and a hefty lineup of cocktails.
Summer staple Arbory Afloat has reclaimed its prime position on the Yarra in front of on-shore sister venue Arbory Bar & Eatery, for another season of sun-drenched cocktails and riverside revelry.
This year, the 69-metre floating venue is taking inspiration from Turkey's Turquoise Coast. The space has been reimagined with a vision of olive trees, tasselled umbrellas, iconic Missoni prints and plenty of classic Aegean hues, across its two bars, upper deck and sprawling dining area. Plush daybeds and cabanas are available to book, nestled by the onboard swimming pool.
The matching Mediterranean-inspired menu is filled with Turkish flavours, both classic and contemporary. Snack your way through bites like house-made flatbread ($9) teamed with carrot dip ($8) or the signature hummus ($10), creamy burrata dressed with za'atar ($24), cheese-stuffed zucchini flowers ($8) and red lentil köfte ($12). There's plenty of seafood to enjoy with your feet up, poolside; from raki-cured kingfish ($18) to chargrilled octopus ($18). Plus, pizzas, gyros and kebabs, heroing ingredients like spiced lamb, sucuk sausage and toum (traditional Lebanese garlic sauce). And if grazing's your summer pastime of choice, Arbory Afloat's rotating mezze selection will have you sold.
Of course, it wouldn't be a visit to the floating bar without cocktails, so expect a generous lineup of signature sips — from tapped concoctions, to fruit-forward spritzes, to a globe-trotting array of specialty G&Ts. The Pink Gin Spritz blends ruby grapefruit with the collaboration Four Pillars Afloat Pink Gin ($16/45). You'll find solo serves, carafes and even four-shot Turkish teapot cocktails, alongside an international spread of wine and easy-drinking brews.
Images: Simon Shiff