Photography by Shaina Glenny
Tucked away off Collins Street amidst the corporate end of the CBD, Harley House Bar and Grill is a hidden gem to the local passerby.
Sporting an art-deco style logo and surrounded by eclectic street art, the entrance is evident of the unique and lively atmosphere that it offers.Descending down the stairs to an open-plan basement, the space finds a perfect medium between a New York warehouse feel and Australian institution, without seeking to intimidate. The presence of large artworks by the Archibald Prize-winning Vincent Fantauzzo gives Harley House Bar and Grill an interesting, relaxed and stylish atmosphere, making it the perfect venue for any type of meeting. It’s easy to see why it has become a popular favourite for after-work drinks and catch-ups.
The new and updated food menu is full of bold South American flavours offering a selection of sharing plates, meats, desserts and specialist ceviches. Centered around Peruvian-influenced dishes, a particular highlight was the Ceviche Traditional – a sustainable local white fish in tiger’s milk – and the Yuca con Chorizo with cassava chips, chorizo and aioli.
With the recent addition of Ceviche Tuesday, offering five different cones for seven dollars each, it’s an easy way to try Peruvian cuisine. Similarly, the cocktail menu is not to be missed. The addition of the Pisco Sour, the official drink of Peru, dominates the cocktail list. The combination of Campo de Encanto pisco, lime, sugar, egg white and bitters creates a salty and popping flavour that is hard to forget once sipped. “Pisco Time” – which occurs between 4:30 to 6:30pm daily – means that there’s now a great excuse to indulge in this South American drink. Another favourite is the ginger beer, consisting of lemongrass pisco, lime, Brookvale Union Ginger Beer and maple syrup – as well as the staple range of internationally and locally-sourced wines, spirits and beers on tap.
After experiencing an eclectic and unique evening that makes Harley House Bar and Grill so unforgettable, it’s easy to see why it has become a strong influence in the world of Melbourne bars. Next time you’re in the CBD, take a trip to Strachan Lane for an experience that will linger in your memory long after you leave.