We like to be fed and given drinks while we wait to be fed and given more drinks. It’s a common theme here in Melbourne for restaurants that have large wait lists to open up smaller holding venues that offer cocktails and a taste of the food menu. We’re not complaining, it’s very clever really. We get to sip our drinks and have a nibble of our cheeseburger dumplings, and restaurants don’t lose customers. It’s a very good business decision. Anyway, enough about business. Who is doing this you ask? Ba Charlie and the team at Charlie Dumplings in Prahran.
But, like most good Melbourne bars, you’ll have to work for it. It’s not just going to be clearly signed and easy to find, that would ruin the fun, right? Head to Charlie Dumpling Jr, the take away venue just down the road. Walk in, past the hungry people waiting for dumplings, walk to the back wall, push, and you’re in. It’s ok, we don’t mind you using this information to impress your friends with your insider knowledge; it will be our little secret.
It’s all very exciting once you’re in. Think Japanese Speakeasy. Concrete polished floors, wire wine racks, orchids, and cocktails. You just want to hear more about those cheeseburger dumplings, don’t you? Ok. Order a round of Ba Charlie’s cheeseburger dumplings, a mix of beef and Gruyère, topped with pickled cucumber slices and a hot sambal. It’s intense. Or perhaps you’re more into the aonori rice croquettes. You’ll also see Charlie Dumpling favourites like the snapper dumplings and fried chicken ribs.
For your drinking pleasure there is a range of wines by the glass sitting at around $10 a pop, while the cocktail menu is a whole lot of fun. Our picks? A-Chilli the Hun – a mix of vodka, lime, chilli, mint, and brown sugar, or True Blood, a combination of Tanqueray, Cointreau, blood orange, and lime.
We can see the night starting and ending at Ba Charlie. Did we put our name down at Charlie Dumpling? We can’t even remember.
212 High Street Prahran