Late last week the multi-levelled Seamstress closed its doors for trade, ending a turbulent 27-month quest for Melbourne's discerning palates. The interpreted Cantonese cuisine in the restaurant battled for consistency but most diners coming through seemed to have good experiences. With the abundance of Asian cuisine in the area, however, no great void has been left for those seeking spice, heat and all things good from the Orient.
What is truly lamentable is the loss of the opposing personalities found in the Seamstress and Sweatshop cocktail bars. Seamstress arguably turned out the highest quality cocktails in the CBD during most of its tenure and was, for the most part, a venue of serious intent with informed bartenders and a decadent selection. Its alter ego, Sweatshop, was always a great place to get quality drinks in a quirky, fun and relaxed atmosphere.
The rhymes and rhythms of the city are never easy to decipher for an operator. Commercial success requires blending many components in an alchemic process, and a dash of luck never hurts. While Seamstress may have fallen short this time, we can only hope that the creative people behind the venture will try, try again. The only thing we know for sure is that our gastronomic culture has lost some texture this month, and for those who graced the rickety stairs it is a sore loss indeed.