Black Pearl – A Pioneer for Bars in Melbourne
Last month I said cheers to the best watering holes across Australia. Let’s say hello and cheers to Melbourne. Cool, cultural and tasteful, Melbourne is considered the most “European” city in Australia. The metropolis is home to immigrants of Greek, Italian, Croatian, British and Irish descent, supplemented by numerous Asian immigrants. An exciting mix whose cultural range is evident in the quality of the gastronomic concepts. Cocktail expertise has been around in this cultural metropolis for decades. Almost twenty years ago, the Black Pearl bar, which enjoys international recognition and currently ranks No. 30 in the World’s 50 Best Bars, opened its doors.
Honestly, I haven’t been impressed by famous awards for a long time. Too often my great expectations have been turned into bitter disappointments. Striving for fame and honour often leaves bar teams forgetting significant success factors, guests and continuity. For almost twenty years the Black Pearl has enjoyed international recognition and what I experienced from the very first moment was a warm welcome. The best conditions for a great guest experience. Enjoy a sip at the Black Pearl bar located on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, a lively suburb with an artistically casual lifestyle and eclectic bar and restaurant scene.
What awaits you at Black Pearl are shelves full of spirits, great cocktails and warm hospitality. A neighbourhood drinking den that is truly world class.
As for the interior, think of warm colours, dark wood, a big beautiful bar, blinds gently covering the windows, various lamps and light sources, playful decor and attention to detail. I felt somehow transported back to colonial times in India. In short, there is a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere about this place underlined by unobtrusive background music. As usual, I went early and took my preferred seat at the bar counter. You can also sit on the comfy leather benches along the wall or hide in the cozy niche at the end of the bar. There are a few seats outside which are great for people watching. If you are there on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night you have to try the so-called Attic, a hidden and more speakesque gem upstairs. Press a buzzer and you will be rewarded with fewer people and a refined cocktail menu. Whether you are upstairs, or as in my case downstairs, you will have a lovingly stocked back bar, an easy to understand menu and skilled bartenders.
The drinks are in-house creations served by an open-minded and informative bar team. I had a pleasant conversation with the bartender about the bar and the bar scene itself. Black Pearl is one of those rare bars that is owner-managed and does not belong to one of the big gastronomical companies. You can feel the personal vibe and that the guests enjoy being here. I tried their famous Signature drink, that has been on the menu since 2010 and was described to me as “looks like a car crash on the menu” but it turned out to be a well balanced delicious palate treat. The Death Flip combines Blanco Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Jägermeister, Vanilla syrup, an egg and is rounded off with some freshly grated nutmeg. When the Death Flip first appeared on the menu of Black Pearl, it featured the tagline, “You don’t wanna meet this cocktail in a dark alley. Ingredients unnamed.” No more:
30 ml Herradura Blanco Tequila
15 ml Jägermeister
15 ml Yellow Chartreuse
Dash of Vanilla Syrup
1 whole egg
Dry shake all ingredients, then shake with ice. Fine strain into a Flip glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg. Cheers!
I had a great stay and I highly recommend visiting this bar institution // Visit Black Pearl