Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sew and sew

Like Cookie in the city, Seamstress is another place in town which has been around for ages yet somewhere I've not made it to until this weekend.  A 120 year old former textile factory, warehouse and one-time Buddhist monastery in Melbourne's Chinatown district, Seamstress was fabulous!  I went with a gang from school for a farewell dinner and we were greeted by the man at the door complete with headset who directed us downstairs to the Sweatshop Bar (you need to be careful negotiating the rather rickety original staircase) where we had a few drinks before heading back upstairs to the Seamstress dining room, which is a lovely space - I loved the floral arrangements hanging from the ceiling - it was all a bit novel.  Above the dining room is the Seamstress Cocktail Bar.
Image via Seamstress website
Like many places now, the emphasis is on shared plates, all pan-Asian, although you can still order a la carte if you wish but meals come out simply when they're ready.  We asked the waiter for recommendations and ended up selecting five dishes and an accompaniment (or 'accessories' as they like to call it) ranging from duck, pork belly, seafood and vegetarian plus rice and roti bread.  I have to say that the side dish of caramelised brussel sprouts was probably the best version of this vegetable I've ever had - not surprisingly it wasn't steamed, but fried and absolutely delicious.
Seamstress Cocktail Bar image via Seamstress website
After dinner, the gang and I headed to a bar and rather than queuing at Madame Brussels or walking to Siglo Bar at The European in heels, we opted to just head into Tuscan Bar a couple of doors down as it  also had a rooftop bar.  And while it didn't quite have the same style as Siglo (I felt like I was in an Irish pub given the amount of Irish staff serving drinks!), it was still great to go somewhere to have a drink and shoot the breeze with some of my friends - we had a great time!
Me and Lauren
If you're in town and wanting to go somewhere even more sophisticated, Longrain is also pretty amazing if you like Thai food.  Interestingly, Chinatown was once run by mostly Hong Kong Cantonese migrants but with the surge in mainland Chinese now moving to Melbourne, only a few of the big restaurants in Chinatown are still Cantonese.

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