Arbory – Melbourne’s longest outdoor bar and eatery – is conveniently located right across from where I work so is very easily accessible to me. However its location makes it easily accessible to just about anyone that catches a train from Flinders Street Station. You can access Arbory from the Elizabeth street underpass or at the base of the Princess Bridge (also known as the Lock Bridge now) closest to Flinders Street station. There is no direct access from Flinders Street station platforms to the drinking hall.
Arbory – which is named after the natural canopy or ‘arbor’ that the trees create overhead – runs the length of a city block and is the work of both HQ Hospitality Group (the restauranters behind Coffee HQ) and Metro Trains, who worked with architects Jackson Clements Burrow & Associates to re-image the strip as a 120-metre outdoor drinking and dining space. There are multiple illuminated shipping containers that house two bars which pour local wines and lagers – such as Brooklyn lager and Stone and Wood brews from the taps.
Nicholas Bennet – who most recently worked for Trocadero and Fatto at Hamer Hall – is leading the kitchen here at Arbory and has created a contemporary European style of menu balanced out with casual dishes like burgers and sandwiches. This is to cater to the various clientele they expect – tourists, locals and people who work around the area (me!). Arbory offers all day operation and caters for breakfast, lunch, dinner and of course drinks.
The menu starts off with Sandwiches and Burgers, then moves onto the Smaller Dishes followed by Larger Dishes and wraps up with Sides and Cheese & Desserts. Sandwiches and Burgers include two types of burgers, a Smoked Fish and Chip roll which sounds mighty interesting, as well as two toasties and an American Hot Dog. There is quite a variety to choose from the Smaller Dishes which include a Chorizo Corn Dog with Jalapeno Mayonnaise, Pea & Herb Arancini, Calamari Rings, Salad of Pan-Fried Eggs and Charcuterie Board. The Larger Dishes include a Rare Roasted Salmon, Peppered Steak and a Roast Onion, Silverbeet and Cauliflower Pie just to name a few! Desserts sound mighty interesting and I will definitely have to go back and check them out – the Popcorn & Salted Caramel Sundae sounds divine! There is also a Chocolate & Guinness Cake for you Guinness lovers!
The venue itself is quite spectacular yet casual and welcoming. There are many dining options – high seating that overlooks the Yarra to lower tables to suit large groups. There are also large umbrellas to cater for Melbourne weather – be it rainy or super hot!
It was a tough decision but I decided to order the Crumbed Mushroom & Haloumi Burger with Crinkle Cut Chips. The burger was perfect and really hit the hungry spot! The haloumi was placed atop the crumbed mushroom with the salad acting as the base – with the brioche buns on either side. The bun itself was soft, textured and crunchy with the perfect flavouring to complement the contents. I loved the combination of the earthy crumbed mushroom together with the salty grilled haloumi – it was sublime! One of my favourite mushroom burgers out there! The Crinkle cut chips on the side were quite delicious too and I loved the plating of this dish – on a wooden board with the burgers to one side and the chips on the other.
O decided to get the Spaghetti, Prawns, Clams, Chilli and Black Bean Pangrattato. This dish was beautifully presented – with the variety of seafood glistening amongst the sea of sphaghetti. The flavours were simple yet worked great with the distinct seafood flavour – I personally would have liked more chilli but that’s just me! Overall yet another great tasting dish!
Arbory is a lively all day bar situated beneath a line of iconic plane of trees that has a stunning vista which overlooks the Yarra River as well as the lovely Arts Centre and Hamer Hall – if you look further to your left you can even make out the MCG in the distant! The view paired together with great tasting comfort food and a variety of different drinks – smaller craft beers and ciders from locals such as Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Thunder Road, Brunswick Bitter, Stone and Wood and Golden Axe Apple Cider- make Arbory the place to visit. It really does cater to variety of tastes and people! I will definitely be back to try out the breakkie menu!
Rating : 4 Pandas
Menu – Refer to http://arbory.com.au/menus/ or the pictures above
Atmosphere / Ambience: Chilled out and the place to be – very comfortable and welcoming! Great for catch up drinks or even for a catch up meal – especially when the weather is warm and sunny!
Standout Dish: Crumbed Mushroom & Haloumi Burger with Crinkle Cut Chips.
Service: Friendly and Warm
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
Flinders Walk, Melbourne
(At the end of the Princess Bridge or Located adjacent to Platform 13, Flinders St Station)
Tel No: 9621 2260
Monday to Sunday: 7:30am – Late