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FOOD & DRINK

Pearl Diver Cocktails & Oysters Is the Glam New Bar From the Speakeasy Group

Roll in for fresh Aussie oysters served in a multitude of styles, matched with innovative cocktails packed full of complexity.
By Libby Curran
December 01, 2021
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By Libby Curran
December 01, 2021
  shares

If you're the kind of person who scoffs oysters like they're going out of fashion and you don't mind a well-crafted tipple or two, then get ready to meet your new favourite watering hole. Pearl Diver Cocktails & Oysters has opened its doors on Little Bourke Street, freshly shucked from the minds of The Speakeasy Group's (Eau de Vie, Nick & Nora's, Mjolner) Alex Boon and Pez Collier.

The focus here is memorable, produce-driven cocktails and oysters sourced from the country's best growing regions. Steering the former is renowned bar gun Boon, whose menu of libations is filled with his signature respect for individual ingredients and penchant for creativity. Expect deceptively simple-looking drinks packing loads of complexity.

Pull up a seat at one of the plush banquettes or at the bar, and admire the elegant space while getting acquainted with his art. Among the lineup are sips like the Coconut + Yuzu — a blend of coconut-washed pisco, yuzu verjuice, vanilla, passionfruit and pink peppercorn — along with the ocean-inspired namesake Pearl Diver, and a reworked sazerac built on the classic pairing of peanut butter and jelly.

The Pearl Diver cocktail

An oft-changing wine list has been carefully chosen to represent only that which is 'fun' and 'delicious', with a good 50 varieties pouring at any one time and a deep respect for terroir throughout.

Meanwhile in the food corner, oysters are the headline act. You'll find them showcased in three different ways, served au naturale, dressed (think, creme fraiche and caviar, or a lemon granita) or cooked. Of course, no matter how you like to slurp them, you've also got to sample the signature creation, the Drunken Oyster: an icy-cold fusion of natural oyster and house Pearl Diver martini.

A less bivalve-focused section of the food menu features bites like a wagyu Philly cheesesteak, salt cod beignets with garlic butter and waffle fries served beneath a mountain of comté. Grilled buffalo haloumi is made in-house, steak tartare is matched with artichoke and an oyster cream, and a mandarin trifle stars on the dessert list.

And if you're after something extra fancy for your end-of-year catch-ups, see the private dining room, complete with an oyster well running down the length of its giant table.

Find Pearl Diver Cocktails & Oysters at 56 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. It's open 5pm–12am Tuesday–Thursday, and from 3pm–12am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Published on December 01, 2021 by Libby Curran

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