I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published November 30th 2011
While Melbourne is known for its eclectic bar scene, Left Bank is one the most classy bars I have been to and I always look forward to going back. It isn't a place to try for the first time on a Friday or Saturday night though, as it is usually filled to capacity with those popping in for an after-work drink or having a night out on the town. The lights are dimmed, the plush couches always taken up early, the music is loud and it almost loses the intimate setting set on a weeknight.
The two nights I've visited has been to catch up with a girlfriend over a cocktail or two. As it is a bar, you can dine in for breakfast or lunch daily but only bar 'bites' are available in the evening. The interior is sleek and very modern, with five distinct areas. In the centre is the bar, 11m long, covered in gold onyx and has 350 sparkling fibre optic lights hanging from the ceiling. Opposite is the 'Onyx Bar', a rectangular arrangement of about ten comfortable white bar stools on either side. This is where we've shared our cocktails with either a view to perv on the good looking bar staff and colourful lit up shelves of alcohol or overlooking the Yarra River and lights of Flinders Street Station.
The golden onyx bar
There are over thirty different cocktails on their 'Liquid List'. The Strawberry Fields cocktail makes a strawberry daiquiri taste like cordial. It has vanilla-infused vodka, French black raspberry liqueur, garden fresh strawberries and tangy Tahitian lime. The Apple Pie cocktail tastes like the real thing with frangelico, vanilla vodka, pomme verte (green apple syrup), apple juice and cinnamon. And the 'brunch cocktail' Captain Obvious has spiced rum and caramelised banana, complimented with a delectable topping of white chocolate and fig mousse. They are all delicious and worth every bit of their hefty cocktail price.
The central location of Left Bank also makes it a cinch to get to, plus a scenic walk along South Bank. Note that Left Bank looks very different during they day. The interior lights bring this place to life and injects in it a sense of magic. Have your next first date at Left Bank and you'll be guaranteed a second one.