Shopping on Chapel Street has been given a new meaning at Pawn & Co, a thrift shop and bar that needs to be seen to be believed. Found high above Chapel Street, this bar may be the only place in the world where everything is for sale. From the furniture down to the glassware, owners Steve Wools and Josh Lefers of Big Dog Creative have proven that everything has a price. At Pawn & Co the interiors are nostalgic for the Prohibition-era, with an old-school wooden bar, velvet booths and tens of books lining the shelves, all ingeniously cut away to make room for a flask – which is for sale, of course.
Take a trip to the Prohibition era at Pawn & Co
With a room that is as much about the selling as it is the drinking, the menu is based on bites that can travel. Meatballs here are the order of the day, to be eaten separately or made into sliders, but with flavour combinations like Jamaican chicken; pork and apple; and double-bacon cheeseburger, it may be difficult to settle on just one. Just save some room for the ice-cream balls too. Each dish can be paired with a shot suggestion but for a taste of something a little more unusual try the cocktail list, which even features some creations made with absinthe. With regularly scheduled auctions organised to sell their wares, Pawn & Co offers the perfect escape from reality – just don’t let the green fairy do the bidding for you.
Read more about Pawn & Co here
Tucked inside a converted warehouse on the cool-side of Melbourne’s tracks, David’s has undergone a facelift – shaking off its fine-dining façade, and embracing a fresh and youthful new look. The linen covered tables have been stripped and replaced with exposed wooden tables, while place mats now serve as menus. On first glance, David’s appears to be capitalising on what every other modern Asian restaurant in Melbourne is offering, until, of course, we remember that David’s has been winning Chef Hats long before most restaurateurs’ even left school.
David’s is set inside a converted warehouse on Chapel Street
Owner and former Chinese herbalist David Zhou has adopted a “back-to-basics” philosophy that is a far cry from your typical pan-Asian restaurant. David has created a unique menu of regional Shanghai home-style dishes. We start with David’s signature one bite soft shell prawns. Light, meaty and slightly sweet, these soft shell prawns are a vast juxtaposition to the often heavily fried and dry versions that we have all experienced before. For those who like it hot, the 50/50 fried chicken with stir-fried chillies and Szechuan peppercorns will satisfy but just make sure you’re within reach of the water station. The highlight of the meal, however, is the whole braised barramundi, wrapped in a blanket of spring onion and filleted tableside. The crispy outer skin, combined with the fish’s soft flesh is perfect with a side of Buddha’s fried rice that soaks up all the sticky juices from the plate. End on a sweet note with soft centred white chocolate dumplings sprinkled with coconut, a signature dish, available from all of David Zhou’s restaurants.
David’s signature dish of one bite soft shell river prawns
In keeping with David’s humble philosophy, a grab-it-yourself communal cutlery station features in the centre of the restaurant and each dish is large enough to share with a group. Diners eat off the same plates that David has at home, and although there is table service, guests happily help themselves to whatever they need, just like they would at home.
Whole braised barramundi with spring onion blanket
To be voted as one of the top 50 best Chinese restaurants outside of China is no easy feat but David’s has hit the mark – offering Melburnians an authentic Shanghai dining experience.
Read more about David’s here