Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

Want to know more about me? Friend me on facebook, follow me on twitter, or even look up my New Yorker cartoons on instagram! NB; different platforms not all food related)

A big thank you, as always, to my sponsors at Blue Vapours (use them for all your design and advertising needs - we are waiting for your call!).

Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Monday, August 3, 2015

“I See Young People” – Bar Reviews

Rupert on Rupert | Kustom Kommune | The Carlton | the Grace Darling | the Shaw Davey Slum

How do you know you’re getting old?  Probably when you go to a bar, and the people you're out drinking with are at least twenty years younger than you… and they’re all there legally.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing (i.e. you out drinking with youngies).

First up, they’ll be fitter and almost universally better looking than your usual cohort, they’ve yet to be ground down by the heel of bitter experience, and are prone to more outrageously entertaining behaviour than your more mature colleagues.

That said, I’ve been to a few bars lately as an older “tourist”, visiting the gathering pools of the hip and young(er) punters.  Here’s a couple of tips of where to go should you be craving younger companionship:

Rupert on Rupert
73 Rupert St. Collingwood

This bar opened in the last six months, and do you know for the life of me, I've walked past it almost twice a day every day since its opened and never knew it was there.  Not only is there no signage outside, but the street itself is missing a street sign (how very Melbourne).

This bar was full of "the lovely" on Saturday night, despite the inclement weather.  The bar design seems to be by the same people who did the pub in St Kilda CJ used to work at… um... the Newmarket. 

Kustom Kommune
25 Easey St, Collingwood VIC 3066

This place is a custom motorcycle workshop, that turns into a Texan BBQ joint, bar and band venue.  You certainly wouldn’t want to smoke inside (even though you’re not allowed to), since the place might blow up with the fumes of petrol and oil.

I arrived at this bar to see a friend’s band (Fizz's band the ohms), and on arriving was surrounded by hipsters with beards (“oh brother”).  But it was when I heard someone say “God, I’m nearly twenty five”, that I did a double take.

I see this is (yet another) “pop up”, so you only have another few weeks to get down and try some slow cooked pork…

The Carlton
193 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

With its stuffed giraffe head on the first floor (balcony bar here), and fake elephant head on the third (with rear bar balcony), this place has become a Melbourne Institution, a taxidermist’s wet dream, and a groovy place to drink.  I had a very nice time here recently, and note that on the fourth or fifth floor, which used to be bedrooms along a corridor back when it must have been a more normal pub/hotel, there are now different themed mini-discos in each bedroom fitting about ten people each, with their own music and mini-bars in each (called the “Bar-Dream”, another pop up concept…).

Big ticks, but long queues to get in at the ground floor during peak times.

The Grace Darling Hotel
114 Smith Street, Collingwood, Victoria Australia, 3066

Nothing says young people like cheap beer, and this venue has three dollar pots and six dollar pints of Coopers from 4 till 7 weekdays.  Plus it’s one of the nicer pubs in Collingwood, and the original founding spot of the Collingwood Football club, so there.  I believe they also have bands and DJs.

And while I’m on the point of “cheapskate emergency venues”, you might also try…

The Shaw Davey Slum
171-175 Elgin Street
Carlton VIC 3053

OK, this is NOT fine dining.  This place targets students (the College variety, from up the road), with super cheap beer ($2 pots) and food ($8 parmas and steaks), but if you can extend the extra few dollars for the "next level of meal and drink up", it’s good value and they play I Dream Of Genie and Get Smart on the TVs within.

If I was a teenager and going on a date with a girl and my pocket money, I’d take her here and say “have anything you like”, perhaps even getting her a cocktail or two.   Just watch the rugby jumper wearers at exam knock off drinks.

Got any tips on where the young and the beautiful grace their forms?  Why not drop us a line? (see comments section below)