I’ve delayed making this post for ages, because i’m actually daunted by how i’m supposed to put into words how ridiculously amazing this place is. “Molecular barology” is how it was initially explained to us… “Imagine if Heston Blumenthal opened a cocktail bar”. That doesn’t even begin to sum it up.

We were told you can’t just rock up, they have no signage and a locked front door. You need to be “on the list” via their membership program or an invite. This, and the Heston-comparisons, made us think this was going to be very gimmicky, and way too trendy for guys like us (I was down there with my brother and dad for a boy’s reunion).

It ended up being one of the most entertaining drink nights I’ve ever experienced, bar none (pun overtly intended). This place made the best bars at Vegas seem amateur, and well and truly deserves it’s comparison to Heston’s work.

The central bar, at Der Raum

It’s a very cosy place once you get past the signage-free entrance on the outskirts of Melbourne city. The bar is the central piece, with a few booths around it, but as we arrived early and were the first visitors of the night, we took center stage and sat right at the bar. The head barman was incredibly friendly, explaining in great detail where the idea for the place came from, how it all works, and showing us lots of different tricks that go into the… creations.

I’m hesitant to call them cocktails, it doesn’t do them justice.

The menu is themed, and changes regularly.

It’s one of those places where a simple blog post could never really sum up the atmosphere, the quality of the drinks, or the entertainment from the staff. It wasn’t pretentious at all, and the staff were happy to chit-chat about anything and everything while making our drinks, and even the other guests that came in (some being regulars who pay for membership, so they can come whenever they like) were all very friendly, humouring our out-of-state ignorance and sharing stories with us.

The flavour board tells you where in the spectrum each drink lies.
Liquid nitrogen is in abundance...
If it burns... burn it?
You put the pill in your mouth, and squirt the syringe in, and they react.

The medical/science theme is carried through the place pretty well, without being overpowering or cliche’d. There are “Poison” bottles hanging all over the bar, and your water is served in a glass jar. They spread the theme to some of the drinks, with interesting results, but there are also a variety of other themes in play depending what you order.

I personally would’ve liked to see some food on the menu. Not meals, just some snacks that use some of the sorcery from the drink creations.

You can never have too much liquid Nitrogen
The cocktail is encased in a frozen shell that dissolves as soon as you put it in your mouth.
My favourite drink of the night, an Australian-themed cocktail. Just... yum.
Nope, that's still a cocktail. Watermelon infused with alcohols, made to look like sushi.

It was definitely one of those experiences that i’ll remember for a long long time, and I can’t wait to head back down there and try the (very few) cocktails that we didn’t get to.

Der Raum on Urbanspoon

Written by Callan

Cancer fighter, photo taker, new father, coffee addict, car obsessed, physically in Sydney temporarily but mentally still at home in southern Tasmania.

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