Der Raum, Richmond (Closed)

by dylan on September 9, 2010

Bar

Bar

After finishing up our epic 5 hour lunch at Loam in Drysdale we headed back to our shortstay apartment in Southbank to cook up a storm with all the fresh produce we had bought that morning from Queen Victoria Markets. Sadly my Thai feast needed to be cut short mostly because we were still so full from Loam and we wanted to get to Richmond and sample some of the amazing cocktails Der Raum has to offer.

Maybe it was because it was a Thursday night, or maybe it was because we got there at 8pm, but when we arrived it was quite surprising to see the place nearly empty. Funnily we had decided to book mostly due to our previous disappointment thinking we could just get in where we wanted when we wanted. Dimly lit and with a character all of its own the bar looked impressive with bottle upon bottle dangling from the ceiling by occy straps. Initially we thought this was just decoration but as the night progressed we discovered these bottles were in constant use and not just for show.

  • Pharmacy
    Pear and roasted capsicum gin, administered sweet Italian bitter, citrus pill. “A tribute to British artist, Damien Hirst.”
  • Zombie (Don’s Style)
    A rum runner’s bounty of fine hooch, fresh tropical fruits, flaming caramelised passionfruit. “The 1930s creation of Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt at the rum Mecca bar, Don the Beachcomber. It remains one of the kings of the Tiki movement.”
  • Sugar Cane Swizzle
    Pandan and chilli infused rum, cinnamon, pressed lime, aromatic bitters. “A Thai twist on the much loved swizzle.”
  • Latin Threesome
    Sagatiba Pua Cachcaca, Pisco Control, Havana Club Anejo Reserva, rich pressed tropical fruits. “A celebration of the three great national spirits of Brazil, Chile and Cuba. Selected as Gourmet Traveller’s and Liquid Magazines editor’s choice cocktail.”
  • +/- Pina Colada
    Havana club blanco, tropical fruits, hot white chocolate and coconut foam. “A tropicana staple prone to fluctuating temperatures.”
  • The Chopping Block
    Yellow chartreuse, chamomile, pressed lemon, Angostura orange bitters, cider. “Herbaceous refreshment care of Brisbane’s most acclaimed bar team.”
  • Toreador (Nitro Sorbet)
    Ocho blanco tequila, lime, apricot liqueur, agave nectar. “The precursor to the modern day Margarita as told by Henry Besant and Dre Masso of Green and Red, London.”
  • Barney Banana
    Banana and cardamom rum, cinnamon, dark palm, lime, mandarin peel. “A boozy interpretation of a childhood favourite for anyone old enough to remember.”
  • Midnight in Sicily
    Avema, Campari, blood orange, strega mist. “A liquid tribute to Peter Robb’s rumination on Italian art, crime, history and food.”
  • Crusta Reserva
    Pampero seleccion, maraschino, lemon, pineapple. “A classic compostion from Gourmet Traveller’s 2010 Bar of the Year.”

Given a menu split into a few sections I spent most of my time on the front page. Set out into quadrants, sweet, sour, spice, dry it was easy to narrow the choice down by targeting a specific taste group and go from there. To start the night off we were given an ‘amuse bouche’ of a sous vide infusion of French vermouth and chamomile. Called the Chamomile Chroming and presented in a medicine bottle with just a straw and some dry ice to get that ever so cool smoke effect, it was tasty and easy to drink. Definitely off to a good start.

Pharmacy. Pear and roasted capsicum gin, administered sweet Italian bitter, citrus pill. “A tribute to British artist, Damien Hirst.” ($21.00).

Edging mostly towards the sour end of the spectrum I could not pass up a Pharmacy. Laid out on a silver platter was a syringe filled with red liquid, a pill jar and a little yellow pill. You take the syringe, inject this into the jar and drop in the pill that is filled with lemon sherbet. Flavoured gin with the accent of the bitters this went down a little too fast and was finished almost before it started.

Pharmacy

Pharmacy

Zombie (Don’s Style). A rum runner’s bounty of fine hooch, fresh tropical fruits, flaming caramelised passionfruit. “The 1930s creation of Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt at the rum Mecca bar, Don the Beachcomber. It remains one of the kings of the Tiki movement.” ($24.00).

Sweet and deadly, a lovely mix of rums almost completely concealed by the fruity nature of the drink. Don’s Style is a reference to Donn Beach the founding father of tiki bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. An all time classic and when it is done this well I don’t see it ever dropping out of favour.

Zombie (Don’s Style)

Zombie (Don’s Style)

Sugar Cane Swizzle. Pandan and chilli infused rum, cinnamon, pressed lime, aromatic bitters. “A Thai twist on the much loved swizzle.” ($22.00).

Presented in a tin can with the sugar cane sticking out, the pandan and chilli-infused rum, cinnamon, pressed lime and Sumatran natural Mandheling bitters had me right back in Thailand and enjoying every bit of it. Chewing on the sugar cane was a pleasant little extra edge to a smooth and moreish cocktail.

Sugar Cane Swizzle

Sugar Cane Swizzle

Latin Threesome. Sagatiba Pua Cachcaca, Pisco Control, Havana Club Anejo Reserva, rich pressed tropical fruits. “A celebration of the three great national spirits of Brazil, Chile and Cuba. Selected as Gourmet Traveller’s and Liquid Magazines editor’s choice cocktail.” ($20.00).

A threesome of awesome, the big hitters of the Latin liquor scene and another sweet drink with almost no hint of the potency lurking within. There was just something about the drink that made you want to order another.

Latin Threesome

Latin Threesome

Pina Colada. Havana club blanco, tropical fruits, hot white chocolate and coconut foam. “A tropicana staple prone to fluctuating temperatures.” ($20.00).

The +/- Pina Colada was quite an odd deviation from the classic. The + (plus) applying to the warm white chocolate and coconut foam layer on top with the – (minus) referring to the rum and fruit juice. Quite a sensation and one that I will remember whenever I see a Pina Colada.

The Chopping Block. Yellow chartreuse, chamomile, pressed lemon, Angostura orange bitters, cider. “Herbaceous refreshment care of Brisbane’s most acclaimed bar team.” ($20.00).

Another drink leaning towards the sour side of things and the main reason I chose it. Herbaceous indeed, packed with a truly eclectic bunch of ingredients it was definitely the sour edge of the drink I loved. Thanks to the guys from The Lark in Brisbane for creating such an awesome drink.

The Chopping Block & +/- Pina Colada

The Chopping Block & +/- Pina Colada

Toreador (Nitro Sorbet). Ocho blanco tequila, lime, apricot liqueur, agave nectar. “The precursor to the modern day Margarita as told by Henry Besant and Dre Masso of Green and Red, London.” ($22.00).

This round it was time to get the Liquid Nitrogen into the mix, a frozen margarita on the extreme side of the fence. Mixed like any usual cocktail but things got really interesting when the ladle of liquid nitrogen was added. Vigorously mixed in to create an instant sorbet, it was a definite winner in method, presentation and taste.

Barney Banana. Banana and cardamom rum, cinnamon, dark palm, lime, mandarin peel. “A boozy interpretation of a childhood favourite for anyone old enough to remember.” ($25.00).

Think banana ice cream, add our friend liquor and there you have it. Of course without the addition of liquid nitrogen this drink may be a little lacking, but after getting the same treatment as the Toreador we ended up with a nifty little dessert with enough kick to please anyone.

Toreador (Nitro Sorbet) & Barney Banana

Toreador (Nitro Sorbet) & Barney Banana

Midnight in Sicily. Avema, Campari, blood orange, strega mist. “A liquid tribute to Peter Robb’s rumination on Italian art, crime, history and food.” ($20.00).

Not as memorable as the previous drinks, we felt it was just missing the flair of the others. Possibly the one drink that had an overpowering flavour and this was from the Campari. Just was not as smooth as we had hoped.

Crusta Reserva. Pampero seleccion, maraschino, lemon, pineapple. “A classic compostion from Gourmet Traveller’s 2010 Bar of the Year.” ($20.00).

Final drink of the evening and so very glad to have ended the night on a high. Again taking aim at the sour I am glad to say that even if it was pure luck I don’t think I could of ended the night on a better drink.

Crusta Reserva & Midnight in Sicily

Crusta Reserva & Midnight in Sicily

It’s hard to imagine upon first glance that a place like Der Raum sitting in Richmond in a nondescript terrace could be so highly rated in the World’s Best Bars rankings. But as always you can never judge a book by its cover. Spectacular drinks and with plenty of style Der Raum is definitely worth checking out.

Sorry about the dismal photos, we hadn’t intended on blogging on the night and only took some phone camera shots. In hindsight it was a silly move as Der Raum was definitely worth blogging about and phone camera shots don’t do it justice.

Der Raum
438 Church Street
Richmond VIC 3121
(03) 9428 0055
Der Raum Website

Der Raum on Urbanspoon


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Em February 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Yummy i want to go to Melbourne now! looks amazing.

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