Photography by: Miss SL
Set 55 floors above Melbourne, at the top of the Rialto tower, lies a bar space lauding the tones of sophistication and suave. From the moment you step into the foyer of 525 Collins Street and out of the elevator, The Lui Bar exudes every part of the well-oiled machine that has become Shannon Bennett’s Vue De Monde empire. Unlike its culinary neighbour, Vue De Monde, The Lui Bar takes a no bookings stance. A suggestion though, it pays to arrive early on a Friday and Saturday night as wait times can get lengthy.
Perch yourself on a stool next to the bar and watch as drinks are expertly mixed, under chrome black, transparent clouds which are reminiscent of Manhattan Chic. The only thing more enthralling than watching your cocktail being created is the panoramic views that span the space of the bar. Sink into one of the chaise lounges set in prime position for a view that will take anyone’s breath away, even on the greyest of Melbourne nights.
There is full table service and a cocktail menu that lends itself to become a mini-feature, with pop up pictures and Melbourne-specific back stories. The cocktails range from the quirky, such as the Sherry Cobbler which has a punch of citrus and sherry to the classic Mary Pickford with its hints of rum and pineapple. There are, of course, the usual suite of wines, spirits and beers on offer in addition to the cocktails.
For those feeling peckish (as we found ourselves on this particular night) the bar menu offerings includes staples such as sliders and oysters. There were some surprises in the menu including Lui’s Signature Ham & Cheese Toasties which was not your average toastie and the Chickpea Fries, which had a surprisingly cheesy centre. Appropriately moreish accompaniments as we sipped our cocktails.
The Lui Bar does come with a price tag for the heady mixture of good drink, good food and attentive service, however, for the amazing views it is an indulgence well-worth the price. Be it in the company of close friends or a romantic partner, The Lui Bar provides the sophistication of Manhattan, opulence of Paris and touch of Melbourne quirk that will have even the best mixologists proud.