The Brunswick Mess Hall opened last Wednesday night (16th of Jan) with a bang. Brunswick’s first beer hall is a welcome new addition to Sydney Road’s night life. The huge space has a communal feel and aims to celebrate quality cocktails, Asian flavours and fun times.
“We don’t want to be necessarily a bar or a restaurant, [but being] a big place where you can come have a few drinks and tasty share plates in an atmospheric space is a big thing in New York at the moment,” says venue manager Bradley Paikos-Coe “and these trends trickle over to Melbourne pretty quickly.”
The once church-hall is remembered by most as Warwick Thai. The poor sound control and inexpensive takeaway will surely be missed by locals, however, it is nice to see a historic space being respected and well utilized again. Although the main room is still practically the size of a hollowed out cargo ship, the enormous space has been cleverly divided up. Two closed off, nature-ridden atriums act as the lungs of the venue out the front and The Cheetah Room (aptly named after a framed picture of Hugh Heffner placed above the fire place) out the back can be booked for a more quiet, sit down dinner with table service and a little more privacy.
The team behind the bar are fresh from Murmur in the city, bar manager Andy Emans’ baby. They’ve brought with them an incredible range of cocktails, affordable punch bowls to share and a shy selection of 50 craft beers. Equally knowledgeable and on the ball is the Lucky Panda Kitchen, serving up snacks and large share plates, such as a fragrant duck curry accompanied by a large serving of rice and fresh cold plates of assorted sushi. A crowd favourite on the night, however, seemed to be the sticky pork hot-pot.
Pumping out the fresh, asian gastronomy are four busy chefs of Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai background. Sweet and bitter cocktails go down surprisingly well after some of the spicy, flavoursome picks off the menu. The Brunswick Mess Hall is a bit of a concentrated taste of Melbourne and reflects how lucky we are with the eclectic mix of cultures and flavours we have available in this city.
Images by Wanda Chin
The Brunswick Mess Hall
400 Sydny Rd Brunswick
Brunswick, VIC 3056
03 9388 0297