There’s a collectors’ feel about tiny Bar Lourinhã, tucked away at the top end of Little Collins Street. We think it might have something to do with the amazing array of bric-a-brac lining the walls behind the polished-wooden bar. There are strings of chillis, ornamental teaspoons, fans and many tiny paintings, all crammed in and reminiscent of a tasteful bowerbird nest. When you nab a spot at the busy bar you’ll never run out of conversation; all you have to do is look at the wall.
There’s much more to talk about than just the décor though. Chef Matt McConnell has applied his travel experiences to an array of sharing plate morsels from kingfish pancetta to wagyu carne cruda. These produce-inspired dishes are served with Iberian flair.
Don’t be fooled by the short-ish menu. If you take a moment with the chatty waiters you’ll be astounded by a long list of specials that doubles the list of offerings, and most items can be ordered by the half-serve.
French, Italian and Spanish tipples dominate the hefty drinks list. But just when you thought you had it pinned, German, Scottish and Japanese drinks turn up in the mix. It’s an eclectic collection on so many levels, and it draws a crowd just as varied.