When I started planning my recent visit to Melbourne high on my list of priorities was of course checking out some new restaurants, bars and cafes. What caught my eye was Seamstress Restaurant & Bar located in Melbourne’s historic Chinatown district. It wasn’t just the fact that it is “housed in a 115 yr-old former textile factory, warehouse and one-time Buddhist monastery” but the description that patrons “Climb the rickety stairs escaping the bustle of the city street to a 50 seater dining room celebrating the merging of traditional Pan-Asian ingredients with modern kitchen techniques” that had me intrigued. Seamstress, which has been operating since 2007, is all about a shared dining experience.
We stopped by for prior to our meal and I had a Gin Gin Mule – Fresh and spicy. Gin, fresh lime & their homemade spicy ginger syrup shaken and charged with dry ginger ale. Served over ice with mint and cucumber. Deliciously refreshing it was! Whilst it was a little too darkly lit to get some great pictures, the atmosphere is lovely with colourful Chinese cheongsams, pj’s etc hanging from the ceiling and comfy lounge chairs and few booths at the back to relax and while away the time.
If you aren’t looking for a full dining experience the Seamstress cocktail bar also offers a light dinner menu available late in to the evening with treats such as spiced roast nuts, schichimi oysters, venison mini-burgers and Malay corn fritters.
But the fun doesn’t stop there Sweatshop is a “hidden den below Seamstress offering straight up bar service, DJ’s late in to the night and a courtyard out the back”. After our meal we wandered down the stairs, past a stock room to a inconspicuous door but it was chock-a-block full that we didn’t bother pushing our way through to the bar. I would however like to check it out at another time.
There is also a DryStore Espresso coffee stop at ground level that operates during the day between 7.30-4pm. So, no matter what your food and beverage needs Seamstress has you covered!