Skip to main content

Holliava

On my way home from work one unassuming Tuesday in January, I sauntered past Holliava (36 Swan Street, Richmond), fully intending to have an AFD - "alcohol-free day", for those not in the know (don't worry, they don't happen often).

Then I saw the sign.

It wasn't a religious enlightening - God, no (...see what I did there?! Sorry. Dad joke.) - but it may as well have been. Happy Hour! $4 drinks! Carlton schooners, vodka, house wines!

Well, I thought. I've worked hard today. I don't have to be anywhere for a while. I have internet on my phone.

So, in I went.

I avoided the front bar. Despite its very late-night moodiness, which is probably perfect when you're trashed on Saturday night, yelling over loud music to have a non-conversation with a cute stranger, I just can't convince myself that it's an overly attractive place to sit in the early evening during Daylight Savings. Unless you are sitting at the window looking out onto the street. But that's different.

I busted the barman on his phone - but it was early, no one was drinking yet (but meeeeeee) and clearly he was bored. I'd have been doing the same thing. In fact, I recommended a website for him to check out. And to his credit, he put the phone away as soon as he saw me. I hope this doesn't get him in trouble. If it does... I'm so sorry, Nice Mr Barman.

I bought my $4 house white - not too crap, and I actually saw it come out of a bottle, no less - and carried my patootie out to the beer garden, which I'd not visited before.

It was really nice! Yes, I was surprised. I'd been to Holliava once or twice before and been subjected to drooling stares from ageing, burly ex-tradies in the front bar section, which probably helps explain my aversion. But $4 Happy Hour drinks made me see the light of the back courtyard. SOLD.



I spent a pleasant little while in the sunshine, enjoying the grungy, almost Banksy-style oriental art, wooden palings and trickling water feature, which for once didn't make me need to use the bathroom (must be a special fountain). I had a lengthy phone chat with my wonderful little sister, and the world was brought to rights again.

Water feature



Hence, Holliava scores Approval! I'll head straight to the beer garden next time, preferably during $4 Happy Hour (I'm not sure if this applies every night or what the exact hours are - it's not up on their website. Which, by the way, is schmick, and on the whole, very informative. Floor plans, transport info, the lot. Check it out). And, if I'm ever feeling young and foolish, I might even check out Holliava again on a Saturday night. Maybe.



Holliava on Urbanspoon

Popular posts from this blog

Spice Temple

Spice Temple  Neil Perry's Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant at Crown, Southbank, Melbourne
It's considered an institution in Melbourne, and with a chef to its name like Neil Perry, a location like Southbank, and an existence of six years in the Melbourne restaurant scene (when staying power is notoriously elusive), it's no wonder. Spice Temple's name is a pretty accurate description of the restaurant: food heavy in spices and spiciness; a dim space with a sort of hushed reverence.



The quiet tone of Spice Temple (Shop 7, Crown Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) could well be due to its design. With lots of dark wood and more traditional red and gold carpet, one might be forgiven for thinking it's a little dated. What keeps it current is the symmetrical and perpendicular fittings, creating neat squared-off eating nooks, and the dark, felt-like soundproofing material spaced out overhead, muffling any white noise.



Walking into the restaurant's reception area, yo…

Mr. Miyagi

It's the place that was made infamous by the 'chopsticks incident' last December, where a young Richmond Tigers AFL player drunkenly threatened to attack a woman dining nearby with his chopsticks. But of course, Mr. Miyagi had already developed a cult following well before that.



Opening in October 2013 on the ever-so-hip Windsor portion of Chapel Street, and tickling nostalgic fancies with its reference to 1984 classic The Karate Kid, the restaurant has enjoyed a steady stream of customers since. I remember stopping by with a friend one Thursday night mid last year to enquire about a table, and we were told it would be a two-hour wait. Well! Either this place is really good, I thought, or really good at hype.



I made a calculated plan with friends to score a table there on a Friday night recently. I rocked up nice and early, 6:45pm-ish, and put my name down for a table. They advised the wait would be approximately an hour, probably less, noted down my mobile number and enco…

Saint Crispin

When Smith Street had just become a local area for me, I used to walk past Cavallero and think about how I 'must try that place soon'. But as everyone knows, Smith Street (and surrounds) is not short of venues, and I must have been busy checking out all the others first, because before I knew it, Cavallero had closed and I had missed my chance. Apparently it had been struggling. Who then, would dare to take on the site, and what would they make of it? Smith Street is a prime location, but it's also full of competition. This would have to be good.



Enter Scott Pickett (Estelle Bistro) and Joe Grbac (The Press Club). Two chefs who used to work together at London's fancy-pants The Square (which boasts not one, but two Michelin stars), they joined forces to open a brand new venue as both business partners and co-head chefs. The result: Saint Crispin (300 Smith Street, Collingwood).

Named for the patron saint of shoemakers, Saint Crispin acknowledges its site's origins a…