I love heading into Melbourne for a night out. The diverse assortment of good bars and places to eat make it difficult to beat – and I’m saying that as someone who’s lived in London and Brighton (UK). Sometimes though, I like to stay closer to home, and discovering new bar Love & Dysfunction on my doorstep was a happy day indeed.
Owner Reg, a Gin Palace Alumni, named his bar after this fabulous quote from Will and Grace.
“Come sit. Join our little circle of love and dysfunction!” (Jack, Will & Grace)
With that quote as the inspiration for its name the bar naturally has a relaxed, welcoming vibe with plenty of space to sit and chat to the very friendly barstaff or tables if you are on a date or in a group. Step out the back and you’ll find a cosy den area, perfect for private functions but best of all is the cute beer garden, that I bet will be full all summer long.
The back bar is an eclectic mix of Reg’s favourites and an excellent range of gins. My gin-tenna was twitching before I even looked at the cocktail menu. I could sense a gin-lover running the bar.
Flicking through the menu (each one bound with a different op-shop book cover) I wasn’t disappointed, with 9 different gin cocktails to choose from (almost half the list). Amongst them were some great twists on the classics:
Hendricks Gin shaken with fresh lime, elderflower & homemade lime cordial, served in an Absinthe rinsed glass & finished with a cucumber rubbed rim.
I get nervous around Absinthe (I blame my aversion to aniseed) but in this cocktail it is a perfect ingredient. It cuts through the elderflower and lime cordial to make a deliciously dry Gimlet.
Not on the menu, but I’m sure if you ask Reg nicely he’ll whip you one up, the G&T&T is the result of some experimentation while I was visiting. Zeiden Dutch Courage gin is shaken with homemade honeydew tea & tonic reduction syrup, and Maidenii Dry vermouth! Delicious!
Also worth a taste was the Rosemary and Basil Bramble. I love Brambles and I love herbs in cocktails. So this combination of Brokers Gin shaken with fresh lemon juice, muddled fresh rosemary, basil and finished with a crème de mure float hit the spot nicely.
In addition to the cracking cocktails, there is a good selection of wine and beer. If you are feeling a little peckish Love & Dysfunction has some very tasty offerings from picky bits to sharing plates (I can personally vouch for the damon & gruyère croquettes with chipotle aioli).
Love & Dysfunction, 103 Grey St, St Kilda, Vic