Among Footscray’s famed Vietnamese and Ethiopian eateries, Bar Thyme serves snacky plates and lo-fi wines in a warm and open space. Drawing on stints at Movida, The Lincoln and Le Bon Ton, owner-chef Howard Stamp combines modern Australian wine bar flair with mainland European cuisine.

The menu changes weekly, though you’ll always find fresh oysters and a steak. Many dishes show off classic French bistro influence, such as smoked salmon rillettes with crispbread; crispy lamb tongue with sweetcorn puree; or rock flathead with a radicchio, pearl barley and orange salad.

As a wine bar, Bar Thyme is less conventional. It leans towards natural styles from Australia and Europe with its mix of funky skin-contact wines and more traditional flavours. Cocktails change regularly but you’ll always find staples like the house Negroni, which uses a local line-up of Melbourne Gin Company gin, Maidenii vermouth, Okar bitters and Bizzarro aperitivo. And the house Spritz, which blends lemon and thyme syrup, dry sherry and sparkling wine.

The interior is a homey nod to the neighbourhood bistro, with knick-knacks from Stamp’s travels, vintage prints, and empty wine bottles from bygone evenings with friends.

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Updated: October 18th, 2023

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