Make your way down the alley, find the rustic wooden door, push past it, climb up the darkened stairway and find yourself in Storyville, where magical concoctions await.
One can’t help but feel like magic is all about Storyville. There’s the pungent and delightfully piquant scent in the air, courtesy of various bitters, essences and spices which the brewmasters of the bar keep well stocked as vital ingredients to craft various potations.
Inside the bar, it’s cool and dark. All the better for the various glowing mushrooms, fluorescent flower petals, shimmering fairy lights and candlelit lanterns to light the darkened corners of the bar. There’s a glowing island set aside for the DJ to one side of the room, a lone swing set in the middle of a sitting area, a Narnia-inspired cupboard from which the White Forest reached out, the knobbly boughs of the Faraway Tree and a heavy black-out curtains emblazoned with the Hogwarts crest.
Make your way further up a level to explore the secondary watering hole. Evergreen vines and autumnal leaves adorned the stretch of polished bar top. Slip into the sitting area off to the side and have a browse through a giant’s bookcase. You’re at a crossroads, time to rest your feet and indulge in choice refreshments.
Travellers looking for something to quench a mighty thirst are urged to go for the butterbeer. Toffee, dark cacao nibs, smooth and velvety, plus a touch of nutmeg to jazz it up. A pint (or three) is sure to hit the spot.
For adventurous eager for something dazzling and magical, try the Cinderella’s slipper. Intoxicating, tart, luscious and bubbly all at once, a fizzy and delightful potion served in a glass slipper. Do remember to leave the glass slippers behind.
For the brave of hearts, the goblet of fire is the drink of choice. Fiery, zesty, sweet and strong. It will wake you up and get you ready for a bout with a dragon.
Once your thirst is nice and quenched, do grab a few bites of the bites on offer. There’s teenage mutant ninja jaffles with generous chunks of salami, slow-marinated capsicum and olives. The chicken little jaffles are chock full of parma-style chicken chunks with ham and pulverised tomato. For sweet desserts, the forbidden apple is a sinful mix of apple, walnuts and custard.
Patrons looking to make a discreet exit, pass on a query for the mixologist to shake up a dosage of Polyjuice potion. Sour, strange, yet oddly delightful, the potent concoction would transmogrify your view of the world in a snap of the fingers. Slip out of the venue and continue on your journey.
Image: chicken little jaffles. Photographer: Wilson Tam
182 Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD
T: (+61) 399 939 034
Prices $$ (fair)
Cuisine Nibbles & Tipples
Verdict A cosy watering hole with magical brews galore