It is no secret by now that Melbourne has lots of hidden gems tucked between laneways or up a few flights of stairs. Although how hidden are those places really? Sure, you won’t be able to spot it from a main road, but with the prevalence of online reviews and just social media in general, it’s near possible for a place to remain truly hidden.
I ain’t complaining though, because without recommendations of the internet, how would I come to find a place like Cabinet Bar & Balcony?
The bar is sleek and moody, with the best seats located on the, you guessed it, balcony! Being one of the minority of restaurants that still offers bookings, it made it much easier for my friend and I to secure a table on the balcony on a weekday night.
We started things off with some champagne cocktails, and my choice of the night was rather fruity and light, thanks to the addition of cranberry juice.
Pouring Rayne (ha!) on the other hand, was more subdued and more of an adult drink imo.
Although short, the menu had a fresh take on your average bar food, and the popcorn chicken was an example of that. The bite-sized pieces were juicy and crunchy, and I loved dipping it in the tangy mayo.
Eggplant chips is something that I’ll always if it’s on the menu. The version at Cabinet faired quite well, with large strips of eggplant cover in a thin layer of panko crumb, and fried to perfection. My only complaint would be that it lacked some seasoning, however, the aioli on the side certainly helped with that.
Being a Wednesday night, we had to take on Cabinet’s offer of $10 flatbreads, and after some intense discussion, we settled on the chorizo one. This was a healthier take on your traditional pizza, being on a much thinner base of flatbread, leaving us with more room to indulge on the toppings. The thickly-cut slices of smoky and flavoursome chorizo were undoubtedly the star of the show, and the simply yet classic combination of flavours made the flatbread an overall winner.
Cabinet keeps its dessert menu short and sweet, with only one item on it – the mini chocolate fondue, so it was a good thing that my friend and I were both keen for it. The melty pot of chocolate was perfect for dunking all the other goodies in, I especially enjoyed the buttery croissant.
Cabinet certainly carries its own charm, as showcased by the constant flow of diners throughout the night. I always enjoy a bar that puts some serious effort into its food menu too, and Cabinet does just that.
And with events like $10 flatbread Wednesdays, $10 Aperol Spritz Sundays, and $10 Margherita Mondays, it’s guaranteed that no matter when you visit, it will always be a good time.
How to get here:
Cabinet Bar & Balcony is located on Rainbow Alley, although it’s visible from Swanston Street, it is a 10 minutes walk from Melbourne Central.