An affordable hotspot with a priceless view
Ask any Melbournian you know if they have heard about or been to Asian Beer Café, or ABC as it is affectionately known, and they will likely say yes.
Located on the third floor of Melbourne Central, the Asian Beer Café’s popularity is apparent the moment you walk in and pick up on its dynamic vibe. Dim lighting with tones of red fill the large interior space, which leads out on to one of Melbourne’s favourite balcony spots looking out over Swanston Street and the beautiful State Library. The décor has an Asian theme to it with traditional oriental furnishings mixed with contemporary design. One of the most fascinating is the use of iron wood in the outdoor tables recycled from an old cargo ship, sunk by pirates off the Indonesian coast.
Because of its mere size and the ability to hold over 700 patrons, the beer café has been divided up in to five private dining areas that each have a different ambience. Although this place is a student paradise, it also caters to families, young professionals and anyone just looking for a great dining experience that won’t break the bank.
During the day you’ll be hard-pressed to find a seat out on the balcony as it is full of students escaping from their studies and indulging in a brew and pizza. Come here at night and you will see the place transform in to a sea of bodies dancing the night away to pumping music and queuing at the 20-foot long bar for one of the many enchanting drinks.
It’s no wonder Asian Beer Cafe is busy with daily specials including a happy hour every day from 4-8pm, $5 pizzas, $12 burger specials and three for $12 tapas. They also make some of the best cocktail jugs around including the hurricane, a favourite amongst the ladies with sweet notes of passionfruit and coconut rum. Keeping in line with the theme, the cafe also offers Asian beers on tap including Kirin, Tiger and Sumo’s Choice and other international beers as well.
As for the menu, Asian Beer Cafe offers everything you want from bar food but with an added twist of Asian flavours. They also not long ago added a wonderful vegan menu and most menu options can be made gluten free. The pizzas are adorably named after childhood classics like the Lion King (roast pumpkin), Babar the Elephant (tandoori) and Lilo & Stitch (Hawaiian).
Tapas is a perfect choice for sharing with friends, and they have all the favourites include buffalo wings, prawn purses and edamame. The burgers are another great option to fill your belly with a unique variety of flavours including tandoori chicken, which gives you those wonderful flavours of India with the comfort of carbs and fries.
Overall, when it comes to location, affordability and diversity, the Asian Beer Café really has it all. Once you’ve experienced their extensive food menu, cocktail jugs and the night-time atmosphere of this buzzing place you’re sure to become addicted like everyone else.
Open every day, 11am until 1am.
By Sarah Lamont
Asian Beer Café
t: (03) 9825 8989
a: Level 3, Melbourne Central, La Trobe St & Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Open every day, 11am until 1am.