So Saturday night we headed out for drinks and then dinner in the CBD, organised by our friend D. D is very adept at finding and locating Melbournes various trendy bars which seem to occupy the weirdest places. This one was pretty tame, occupying a basement, and it is called The Sweatshop.
We were there so early that for at least half an hour we were the only ones in the place. It's basically crates to sit on, which actually gives you a rather sore butt after a while (or at least it did for me).
The highlight of the venue (at least for some of us... I chose not to partake) was a rediscovery of the Lolly Waters of our youth, in particular West Coast Cooler. For some reason the idea of spending $5 on something that should be much cheaper was incredibly kitsch and so they were downed with much vigour. I chose a glass of Sparkling, and then a glass of some red wine which I didn't even identify, both were nice and got me in a rather happy mood.
Of course the West Coast Cooler Encounter (trying saying that repeatedly after having consumed a few) prompted discussion of various other Lolly Waters (not Alco pops as they have recently and topically become known). In particular the one that sprang to mind was "Wild Peach". The quandary of the night was "is it still available". I've been to several reputable liquor merchants and so far no dice, but then they were reputable liquor merchants. The quest continues.
Anyway after this we headed on to the 100 Mile Cafe. This little gem is literally hidden away from the world... in Melbourne Central, of all places. It's behind a door that doesn't even look like a door, we actually walked past it before realising it was the entrance.
It's a rather large space, very trendily layed out and with large full length windows that afford a view of the Latrobe/Swanston intersection.
The gimmick of the place is that all produce and drinks are sourced within 100 Miles. One of my dining partners (who happens to be my partner) actually used the GPS to confirm this in one or two cases. Though we were left with a question of who grows rice within 100 miles of the Melbourne CBD, a question for another visit.
For Entre I had oysters (of which there were three types). All delicious. Then I had a burger for main, which was simply fabulous, even the chips were nice.
Several of my friends had the dahl, which they said was less than stellar. We all had a dessert of one form or another which was very nice though a tad expensive at $14 each.
The highlight of the place however was the waitress. She was simply fantastic, you could not ask for a better hostess. When asked for advice about meals and then her advice was ignored, she promptly gave as good as she got, which was hilarious. Also, when asked why there was no West Coast Cooler on the menu, she basically said that they wouldn't lower themselves to that. Also, it's probably not from less than 100 miles away!
All in all it was a wonderful evening out. Even better when deciding to catch a train home we only had to wait 3 minutes which was fairly incredible in itself. Thanks Connex.