Baroq House recently welcomed guests to celebrate ‘Melbourne After Work’, at the 2018 season opening of Baroq House Fridays.

Premium beverages and canapés were available at the launch, along with complimentary live oyster shucking, live music, DJ’s and entertainment.


Baroq House is a luxury 3 level Melbourne lounge bar and function venue offering 4 bars, providing the perfect place to chill out with friends and work colleagues at the end of the working week.

With Friday drinks now sorted thanks to Baroq House Fridays, this glam setting may also be the spot to play host to your next corporate event or special occasion.



Baroq House

9-13 Drewery Lane

Melbourne vic 3000

*Information Courtesy of Baroq House/Helen Reizer HRPR

*Images Supplied by Helen Reizer HRPR


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events



Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/tatgourmetmag










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A Taste of the Middle East – Bar Saracen Opens in Melbourne CBD


Bar Saracen is the creation of Joseph Abboud, who owns and runs Lygon street institution Rumi, and Moor’s Head restaurants, together with Front of House pro, Ari Vlassopoulous. They have recruited Tom Sarafian to head the kitchen. Tom has been working with Joseph at Rumi for the past three years and his CV includes Mo Mo in Melbourne and St Johns and Moro in London, amongst others.

Saracen is a word, initially meaning anyone from the Middle East, but then during the Crusades it came to mean an Arab from the Middle East. Ironically, the Arabs didn’t know they were being called Saracen.

With Joseph’s heritage from Lebanon and Ari’s from Greece, they both liked the word and its meaning, and settled on this as the name of their first joint venture.

For the menu, Joseph and Tom began dabbling in more refined Middle Eastern dishes at Rumi and will evolve these ideas at Bar Saracen, including a range of mezze, barbecue and larger dishes, and sweets. In time there will be a tasting menu available.


In creating their new restaurant and transforming the space that was once Rosa’s Kitchen, Joseph and Ari have been busy knocking down walls – Joe is good with a hammer while Ari is better with a brush, painting the place with whatever was in his parent’s garage.

Bar Saracen is now a fifty-odd seat restaurant with banquettes, a private table, a bar that can seat eight, and window tables with stools to watch the passing parade.

A couple of beers on tap, others in in bottles and cans; wine is a short list of Australian and imported wines, with the imported varieties coming from wherever Arabs have been: Spain, Southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and more, with a few pleasant surprises thrown in.

Bar Saracen opens Tuesday to Friday for lunch and dinner, and Saturday for dinner only.

Joseph and Ari suggest people drop in for a drink and a snack, a quick meal before the theatre, or stay for the tasting menu or more if they want.


Bar Saracen

22 Punch Lane

Melbourne 3000

Phone: 03 8639 0265

Web: barsaracen.com.au

Instagram @barsaracen

Information and Images Courtesy of Bar SaracenJoseph Abboud


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events



Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/


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Everyone’s Favourite Citrusy Spritz! The summery good times keep rolling with the announcement of some exciting new pop-ups at two of Melbourne’s most popular venues – Riverland on the Yarra River and Bang Bang at the Rifle Club in Elsternwick.   In a celebration of everyone’s favourite citrusy spritz, Melbourne’s only Club Aperol is now open … Read more

‘Hump Day’ just got a Whole Lot Better!

MELBOURNE – Review of 29th Apartment’s Launch Party of ‘We Love Wednesdays’

Words by Will Hamilton-Coates

Images Courtesy of Keti Kezunovic @29thapartment

It’s Wednesday and you get to work and tell your friends that it’s “hump day” but you don’t do anything about it. Sometimes Wednesday is just that night you work late, don’t go to the gym, and end up watching the Bachelor with your parents. 29th Apartment is out to fix that!

This quirky cocktail lounge has revived Wednesday nights with last week’s launch of “We Love Wednesdays”. This Bar is already well known for its New York apartment style decor with every room accounted for. There are lounge suites where you can play giant Jenga, a ‘fire escape styled’ balcony where the acoustic two piece band are belting out tasty covers, a bathtub, DJ setup, and a pinball machine.

29th Wednesday's launch (54 of 69)

With so much going on it is hard to know where to start. For just $10 entry you can soak up a Wednesday in comfort and New York’n style, with a first complimentary drink and ‘all you can eat pizzas’.

We turn up and sample a well crafted Spicy Fireball cocktail with whiskey, ginger and cinnamon. It’s hard to choose from the list including the New York Rose, that tastes so bitter, sweet and fruity all combined, and the Buffalo Soldier that’s like a boozy salted caramel milkshake. A variety of hand-stretched, authentic Italian pizzas are handed around by genial staff more than welcome to accommodate ‘the hungries’.


 It’s definitely easy to feel right at home in this lavish bar. Sounds of laughter fill the space when players nobly lunge for that risky Jenga block only to see it topple. There’s a wall with an image of an old school tv, where a projector blasts all your favourite movies, from  Dirty Harry classics, to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind…that mid 80’s sci fi bouncing with quotes like: “I’m exactly where I wanna be”.

Wednesdays should be a little celebration of what’s behind us, what’s to come, and  reasons to just ‘Love Wednesdays”. 29th Apartment has something for every Wednesday mood. Whether your ‘thing’ is to listen to a rocking live act while sipping a tempting cocktail, or getting all competitive over a game of scrabble, 29th Apartment caters for all. 

29th Wednesday's launch (61 of 69)

**Will Hamilton-Coates was a guest of 29th Apartment and this is an independent account of his experience.

29th Apartmentwww.29thapartment.com.au


29th Wednesday's launch (64 of 69)


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

E: connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

W: editorcsl.com

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/


**Keti and Steve Thomas also own StoryVille and Pawn and Co.

StoryVille – www.storyvillemelbourne.com.au


Pawn and Co.pawnandco.com.au



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Words by Keti Kezunovic

As one of the more titillating and culturally underground venues in all of Australia, 29th Apartment, launched “We Love Wednesdays” last week. Over the last 8 years 29th Wednesdays has grown in popularity and built a loyal following among students and backpackers looking for a night of NYC inspired artwork, music, food and drinks. So, 29th Apartment are sharing the love with their customers and introducing “We Love Wednesdays”, which for just $10 entry includes a drink and ‘all you can eat pizzas’ (free slices of their fantastic hand stretched authentic Italian pizzas) between 8 -10pm, accompanied by live music performances.


On the club’s decision to launch their “We love Wednesday’s” Keti Kezunovic said:

“We’ve got a great crowd who love coming to 29th Wednesdays to enjoy our signature handmade pizzas served with a mash up of party anthems and modern house classics… and we just wanted to share the love. With the 11th October launch behind us, we’re looking to build on our already successful format by offering more live music as well as an extra tasty slice of NYC culture. I know that “We Love Wednesdays” will prove to be a huge success and be warmly welcomed by all our customers, old and new alike.”

The Venue

29 Fitzroy St
St Kilda VIC 3182



**The Australia Times Gourmet News had a great night at the launch, as a guest of Keti Kezunovic, (who is also  part of our Melbourne team of writers covering food/wine/events).

Information and Images Courtesy of Keti Kezunovic

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

E: connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

W: editorcsl.com

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/

wlw14 wlw15


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Cocktail & Menu Taste Night at StoryVille

Tastings at Melbourne’s StoryVille

Words by Kate Taylor

Images supplied

Kate chalked up a night of fine offerings as well as ‘a flight of fantasy’ at StoryVille on the weekend.

We welcome her to the Melbourne team, pleased to see she is a ‘word nerd’ and loves a culinary adventure!

Storyville_high res-21

Saturday evening’s cocktail and menu tasting at Melbourne’s StoryVille boasted four story-themed cocktails, three canapés, and a Gatsby-esque enthusiasm for the indulgent. Champagne flowed, cameras flashed, pacy music persisted, while a sparkling mermaid blew scented smoke-filled bubbles into the reaching crowd.

Entering StoryVille is like crossing a threshold. It’s a backstage pass to the fanciful – the return to a travelling carnival that previously only existed in your childhood dreams.

Storyville_high res-15

The night kicked off when a tray of glowing cocktail tasters floated around the room, skilfully weaving through the throng.

First Cocktail: Polyjuice (Harry Potter) – kiwi, lime, basil, gin and a dash of ginger liqueur – first on the menu and first in my mouth. Harry Potter tells us Polyjuice Potion enables the consumer to assume the physical appearance of another person – a fitting first drink for those of us entering StoryVille for the first time. You might say that Polyjuice is the altered form of the classic Southside; a refreshing and fun new twist on a timeless cocktail.

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Next came a tray of mouthwatering canapés – Lavosh crackers supported delicate pieces of Fourme d’Ambert (cow’s milk blue cheese) atop pickled baby figs, with a dollop of peach and muscatel chutney. A highly recommended combination if you’re in the mood for an exciting cheese platter.

Storyville_high res-10

Second Cocktail: Through the Looking Glass – a foggy cocktail crafted with berries, cream tea and white rum, was poured from teapots and sipped from teacups. In Alice in Wonderland we fall upon the Mad Hatter’s tea party rather accidentally, but in Alice Through the Looking Glass we make a knowing step with Alice into a strange and mysterious world. This is a sweet cocktail with a strong rum flavour, and a nurturing backbone to carry you comfortably through to the other side.

Storyville_high res-8

StoryVille’s food menu is dominated by their humbling and perfectly toasted white bread jaffles, leaving me to happily savour two: Three Blind Mice and Cinderella’s Ride.

Three Blind Mice is a three cheese, Dijon mustard and red onion dream, as you can imagine. Although the cheeky tang from the mustard and the onion remind you you’re an adult, you can’t help being drawn back to the melted cheese toasties of your childhood.

Cinderella’s Ride is the accidental hero of the food menu. A roast pumpkin, Meredith goat’s cheese and spinach, golden toasted memory from the depths of your grandma’s love for you – with a little sriracha kick. Subtle and sweet with surprising bursts of earthy flavour, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and everything you ever wanted in a jaffle. Share this and Three Blind Mice with your best friend and you won’t be disappointed.

If you missed the candied bacon cocktail phase a few years ago, slow your worries because it’s back! On StoryVille’s cocktail list is Mr Pilkington’s Neighbour (Animal Farm). This is sweet and salty bacon-washed Bulleit bourbon, with spiced apple syrup, and comes with a side of candied maple bacon. While not for the faint of heart it is however, a complicated drink for a complicated comrade!

More trays of cocktail tasters moved around the bar. A standout was a Chinese rice tea infused vodka martini with a twist of lemon. This one doesn’t appear officially on their menu, so it doesn’t have a name yet. I’d like to suggest the Jekyll and Hyde – civilising tea, and fraying vodka. A contradiction of concepts; a perfect storm.

Storyville_high res-13

The lasting ‘after taste’ of the soft savoury tea was a great nightcap, and slowly roused a gentle reality. It was time to wake up.



Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor – GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/

MORE pics from StoryVille TASTE Night…

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Words by Kelly Sargent

Images Courtesy of Carly Ravenhall 

Melbourne’s newest CBD Bar, Diesel, is as ‘Melbourne’ as it gets; that is, an inconspicuous facade with plenty of action on the inside.

Diesel Street shot

Located at 202 Little Lonsdale St and part of Melbourne Central, the new Diesel Bar and Eatery is a spacious three level venue which could be dismissed as another heritage brick building should you miss the sign. Diesel boasts a stylish fit out; a classy bar perfect for after work drinks, or a lively night out. 

Full downstairs shot

The entry door opens to the middle floor, revealing a long room and open kitchen where you can watch the chefs in action. There’s a friendly vibe, with both reasonably priced and fine wine options. It’s not too often ‘friendly and stylish’ go together, but the middle floor at Diesel bar makes it work. Couldn’t get enough of the tenderised beef bites and tasty spring rolls, topped off with a drop or two of sparkling!

Diesel_084 Diesel_030

The sleek downstairs powder room hosts both girls and guys…yes they’re unisex toilets! Apparently this is an increasing trend in inner city bars, and if you thought this was due to lack of space, that’s not the case at Diesel.

Upstairs you’ll hear city beats pumping across a chic, industrial space. There’s a sizeable central island bar with booths on one side, great for socialising, or perhaps you’d prefer to slink into a private space. The romantic lighting and warm atmosphere make this an excellent date night choice, or a great spot for an intimate catch-up with the girls. 


The outdoor area is part of the rear laneway, offering a smoking area only. This is fine given all that’s happening inside, typically Melbourne once again. 

With a slick interior of various dynamic spaces, along with fine food and wine, Diesel Bar and Eatery has quickly earned the reputation as one of Melbourne’s most sought after bars.  


**Kelly was a guest of Helen Reizer hrpr


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/ 



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The Cliveden to Serve up ‘Footy Lovers Buffet’ on Grand Final Day

MELBOURNE – The Cliveden Bar & Dining – Saturday 30 September Watch the action on 64-inch TV screens!   A stones throw away from The G, hear the roar of the crowd and echo of the sirens, whilst enjoying classics like: • ‘The G Roast Roll’ – a tribute to the classic MCG Beef Roll … Read more

Step into StoryVille


185 Lonsdale Street


Words by Celeste Iuliano


“Written on the pages of Storyville are tales of spirits stirred and shaken.”

With these words we stepped through the pages of a storybook and were transported away from Melbourne’s bustling laneways into a fantasy land. Magic mushrooms hung low over tables as love birds canoodled in the golden cage, at the launch of StoryVille, the latest addition to vibrant Lonsdale Street.



StoryVille is a themed bar that draws inspiration from classic books. Avid readers will love the feature wall on the upper floor (a giant’s dream library), and the signature cocktails with references to stories that will take you back to childhood. The aptly named ‘Drink me’ list has nods to tales as diverse as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Clockwork Orange, each served with a fantastical twist!

Potterheads, such as myself, can choose to brew their own polyjuice potion at their table, combining gin, ginger liqueur, kiwi, basil, and lime to taste. Or perhaps you’d rather a taste of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in which case you might order Through the Looking Glass. It combines vanilla tea, Havana 3 Year Rum with a side of cream, and comes served under a veil of fog, inviting you to peek through the looking glass like Alice.


I’m a big fan of Roald Dahl, so I chose to try the New York Peach, a fruity concoction inspired by James and the Giant Peach. The mix of Cognac, Kirsch, cherry, peach, and lemon make for a sweet and tangy treat, but it comes topped with a surprising nod to James’ creepy crawly friends! It’s definitely one for the more adventurous.


Don’t worry if you’re feeling a little peckish after the hard work of choosing a cocktail, the ‘Eat me’ list boasts more than your average bar snacks. Charcuterie by Savour & Grace is on offer, as well as bespoke Jaffles by Om Nom, with themed flavours such as Green Eggs and Ham and Little Red Hen. My absolute favourite is the Three Blind Mice, a three cheese jaffle that’s tangy, mustardy, creamy, and morish. I may have had seconds.

So if you’re feeling a little adventurous this spring, be sure to take a peek inside.

Storyville may well set the scene for your next magical night out.

Images Courtesy of APL PHOTOGRAPHY & Thomas Bindley

APL PHOTOGRAPHY - www.aplphotography.com.au
APL PHOTOGRAPHY – www.aplphotography.com.au



Read more about StoryVille: https://theaustraliatimes.com/2017/09/06/introducing-storyville/

Owned by Steve and Keti Thomas – the team behind Pawn & Co. and 29th apartmentStoryVille honours childhood fables and fairytales in an exquisite fit-out that evokes nostalgia and ignites imagination.

Website: https://www.storyvillemelbourne.com.au/

Email: functions@storyvillemelbourne.com.au

Instagram: @storyville

Facebook link

Instagram link

29th apartment www.29thapartment.com.au    https://www.facebook.com/29thapartment/  -@29thapartment

Pawn and Co. pawnandco.com.auhttps://www.facebook.com/PawnAndCo/  – @pawnandco


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News – GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/

APL PHOTOGRAPHY - www.aplphotography.com.au
APL PHOTOGRAPHY – www.aplphotography.com.au


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StoryVille set to launch in MELBOURNE! Words by Keti Kezunovic This September, Melbourne’s CBD is excited to welcome an unforgettable bar to its evening landscape – StoryVille. Owned by Steve and Keti Thomas – the team behind Pawn & Co. and 29th apartment– StoryVille honours childhood fables and fairytales in an exquisite fit-out that evokes … Read more