Neil Perry’s bar is appropriately named as The Waiting Room as it is situated in the lobby of Crown Towers, a place where people wait. Wait for check in, wait to meet people, wait for taxis. Tonight after a late flight and not wanting anything too heavy for dinner, it was the perfect excuse to sit down and have a few drinks and small plates. Opened last year in December and it’s styled with a glamour vintage style with crystal glassware, copper mugs and plush lounges. The bar menu has influences from Asia and South America and has options ranging from light snack to something hearty. Their cocktail menu is divided into 2: hotel classics and our prescription. Hotel classics are classic cocktails and interpretations from the great hotels bars of the world, our prescription is the modern take on old drink favourites.
There was too many things I wanted to try on the menu. The tuna tartare came in a classic 1970s crystal bowl which looked like something my parents would have used to serve prawn cocktail in for at home dinner parties. The little cubes of tuna seasoned with red onion, parsley and lemon. My only complaint would be the bread, there was not enough!
Yummy croquettes which I can never pass up!
I didn’t know how to pronounce it or nor I knew what they were, upon writing this post, I found out that it was a Spanish word for simply mounted. Montado means a topping riding on a small slice of baguette and mondaditos are very popular in Tapas bars. There is no recipe and you can put whatever you would like on it, sort of like an open-faced sandwich. Wanting a surprise, I ordered a mixed plate of four. Starting from top left there was manchego cheese, chorizo, avruga & egg and serrano ham. I didn’t expect the chorizo to be so wide!
I saw taco on the menu and wanting to see if can compare to El Loco. The pulled pork shoulder was tender and juicy but it still can’t beat Dan Hong’s tacos.
The Shepherd’s pie looked like a head of cauliflower, don’t you think? This Shepherd’s pie certainly beats the one I use to eat from the canteen with fake mash potato on top. The pie itself was rich and decadent but wished there was more sauce in the mince filling.
Lastly but not least, hand crushed guacamole with corn chips. I found the guacamole slightly salty and the corn chips a little stale. I can’t help but think El Loco is hard to beat in the Mexican front.
Overall The Waiting Room is a great place for a quick bite and pre-dinner drinks and it really lifts the standard of hotel bars. I look forward to kick starting my many boozy Melbourne visits there.
The Waiting Room
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank Victoria 3006
Telephone + 61 3 8679 1800