Roy Hammond is a warmly lit Korean snack bar specialising in gin, whisky and cocktails (and the food that goes with them).

The Korean fried chicken is the stand-out dish, served with slaw, pink daikon and carrot pickle, and gochujang and sweet soy sauce. Also try the kimchi pork banh mi, with crispy pork belly, shaved cucumber and Kewpie mayo. And don’t skimp on the dumplings or dessert.

As good as the food is, Roy’s is more of a boutique bar. Over 100 gins and 100 whiskies are displayed behind the bar, both local and from around the world. There’s the full Four Pillars range, matched with recommended tonic selection from Strange Love, as well as Ballarat’s own Larrakin Gin and a substantial Japanese contingent. The knowledgeable bartenders can make pretty much whatever you like, and will offer recommendations if you’re overwhelmed by the choice.

The building formerly housed a sign-writer, Roy Hammond, and the original sign displaying the name has been preserved in the window facing a cobblestone laneway. Interiors are decked out in recycled furniture and dozens of birdcages are strung from the ceiling.

This place books out most weekends so make a reservation.

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Updated: June 16th, 2021

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