I'm a wine professional, living in Bangkok and travelling frequently throughout South East Asia. I'm a huge fan of Laos and Cambodia and off the beaten track travel. Feel free to contact me at: www.facebook.com/mil.elephants
The bottom end of King Street has something of a reputation that precedes it, but one spot I've found that is well worth a visit is the Waterside Hotel. On the opposite corner from the Aquarium, sits an old style Melbourne pub with a warming atmosphere.
The back room features couches and a warming fire as well as the ubiquitous big screen TV for sports. On most nights this seems to be the place that people occupy first.
As drinks go, they offer the normal fare, a solid if unadventurous wine list, and the same for beers. The food is a little more interesting. Thursday night it Parma and Pot for $17.50. The Parma being meaty and not too smothered in sauce and cheese. Wednesday is Burger or BLT night for $15. The burgers are great on a firm brioche bun and served with a generous amount of fries.
The highlight is their steaks. Tuesday is Rump Steak night with a well-seasoned and tasty 400 gram steak for $22.
For me this kid of food is the reason to go back to a place. Solid trustworthy classics and a place that's comfortable and welcoming. Sure you'll find more exotic and exciting places, but a good local is worth it's weight.
In addition to the main bar, there's a roof deck, accessible from the laneway at the rear, which offers a nice view of Flinders Street and out to the Casino, but lets be honest, at this time of year it's too damn cold.