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FOOD & DRINK

Peaches Is Melbourne CBD's New Two-Level Bar and Rooftop from the Dexter Team

Here you can pair stunning city views with 90s pop-themed cocktails and fried chicken sangas till 3am.
By Kate Shanasy
January 24, 2019
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Peaches Is Melbourne CBD's New Two-Level Bar and Rooftop from the Dexter Team

Here you can pair stunning city views with 90s pop-themed cocktails and fried chicken sangas till 3am.
By Kate Shanasy
January 24, 2019
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The Dexter boys have done it again with the opening of two more levels above their BBQ meat restaurant Cheek. New cocktail bar and rooftop Peaches marks the fourth venue by Adam Goldblatt and brothers Tom and Sam Peasnell, who not only co-own Dexter, Takeaway Pizza, Cheek and (now) Peaches, but are also the executive chefs and run the front-of-house across all restaurants.

The first level of Peaches is a pastel pink fantasy land. It's intimate and flirty with a whimsical scattering of glowing peach-like light bulbs. At the centre of the room are two white terrazzo table tops surrounded by a neat row of circular moss green stools. Semi-private booths in soft shades of blush and oversized monstera clippings line the side of the room. Already, you find yourself boogying to the bar as you step over (or through?) the specks of light shimmering from the gigantic disco ball at the corner of the room.

It's a visually stunning space and unlike anything we've seen in Melbourne's hospitality scene before. Interior designers Amy Pierce and Natalie Widera of design studio Pierce Widera have executed a fit-out that's quite an experience in itself.

As is true across all four venues by the Dexter team, the vibe and overall food and drink offering at Peaches walks the fine line (well) between serious and fun.

The cocktail menu is divided into four music-themed genres: 90s pop, funk, metal and disco. A favourite of ours is taken from first section — where all the "guilty pleasure" cocktails live. Aptly named 'It's Britney Bitch', it's packed with a delicious blend of Brookie's Slow Gin, dry vermouth, raspberry and basil.

Head upstairs to the 80-person rooftop and get around, what we believe to be, one of the most enticing and best-value bar snacks in town. It's the classic chicken sanga, available 'hot' with Sichuan-spiced fried chicken or 'cold' with yuzu mayo and pickles, both served in a soft bun. It's a steal at $7 a pop during happy hour (normally $10) — which runs from 12–2pm and 12–2am — and the flavours and texture combinations of these sangas make them an absolute knock-out.

The drinks focus up here differs from downstairs, and is all about cooling down in summer with light and breezy spritzes and blended cocktails. Expect creative interpretations of the spritz (beyond the Aperol) with flavours such as blood orange and pét-nat; apricot and walnut syrup; and pickled pear juice with mead and soda. And fun fact: during the summer months, the rooftop features cooling water misters for all-round spritzin'.

Then, during the winter months, a retractable roof will be installed and bums will stay warm thanks to an ingenious built-in heating system under the concrete bench seating.

You could, in a perfect world, spend a idyllic 12 hours (plus) in the newly complete three-level venue. Begin at noon, when the doors open, on the rooftop. After a few spritzes, and when the sun goes down, head to level one for a meaty dinner at Cheek. Cap the night off at Peaches cocktail bar on the middle level and tear up the dance floor until you're booted out at 3am. And don't forget the cheeky chicken sanga, which is available until close.

Peaches is now open at Level 2, 301 Swanston Street, Melbourne. It's open 4pm–1am Monday to Thursday and midday–3am Friday and Saturday.

Images: Kate Shanasy.

Published on January 24, 2019 by Kate Shanasy

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