Oriental surprises in Melbourne’s tastiest sewing room

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One really doesn’t expect to find such a bonanza of delights before you enter the small doorway of Seamstress Restaurant and Bar through Lonsdale St. It’s a modern Asian culinary jack-in-the box, and the delights appeal both to the eyes and taste buds.

The adventure starts off upstairs, in the funka-delic cocktail bar. The décor and furniture instantly dazzles the eyes. Oriental-inspired fabrics and antique swinger sewing machines give it an impression of psychedelic sewing room. It seemed apt to leave our cocktail destiny in the hands of the master shakers. The gin gin mule is best described as a celebration of spicy ginger juice and gin, and is an absolute delight. The bar claims to be one of the best places in Melbourne for a dry martini, and we had put the claims to the test. As it turns out, fully verified.


Downstairs in the dining room the space is open, modern and fresh. Food is best shared and taken in a few courses. The Cantonese-style chicken with bacon maple, and the BBQ pork with pineapple salsa were our favourites. Both cooked to perfection with the exciting modern twists. But who knew that a side dish could attempt to steal the show? Especially when that side dish is Brussels sprouts! The chefs of Seamstress have done something exceptional with this simple vegetable, and it’s definitely worth a try.

For dessert, we had the option of finishing up with a cocktail or beer in the grungy warehouse ambiance of Sweatshop Bar downstairs, or to have a taste of the chef’s version of some traditional sweets. Luckily, we did both. On our waiter’s recommendation we went with the pumpkin and coconut custard. Our table went quiet on first taste as everyone had an “oh my God” moment. Then came the five-spiced doughnuts, Seamstress’s take on traditional Spanish churros, with the chocolate sauce replaced with yuzu curd. The word delicious simply doesn’t do this dish justice.

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One aspect of Seamstress that instantly stands out up beyond anything else is the service. Professional without being snobbish or arrogant, the management and staff are simply unfaultable. All of them are genuinely friendly, humorous and possess impeccable menu knowledge. Seamstress takes you on a culinary adventure through Asia, and it seems not a single country is left out.


by Sinan Sezen


Seamstress Restaurant & Bar


t: 03 9663 6363


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