The Section 8 crew present cocktails and pho at their new Chinatown bar

No doubt a part of you loves Section 8. It’s the part that digs hanging in a car park, and smashing longnecks. But likely, there’s another part of you. Yearning to sit by a fire, and sip on boutique Japanese brews. The good news is that Section 8’s owner Maz Salt has provided a solution right next door.

Ferdydurke is a bar for the adult in you who demands a good drink, with a serve of grungy fun for your never-say-die side.

Up the stairs, past the stencil art and outdoor smoking deck, is a lofty space of exposed bricks and beams, flickering from the glow of a fireplace at one end and candles at the other. Throw in some Vietnamese snacks at school lunch prices (the banh mi baguette of pork, pate, coriander and fresh chopped chilli costs $5) and you could take it for a swish student bar. But then there are the drinks. There are no snakebites here.

The back bar holds its own against most cocktail dens in town. Don Julio Anejo tequila; Old Tom gin; Monkey Shoulder whisky. Even if the crew sucked at cocktails we’d be happy with a lowball and a cube of ice. But they don’t suck, and do the classics like a Punt e Mes and Campari Americano, and a Vesper martini of vodka and gin with aplomb. Try a Blood and Sand of Cherry Heering, Dolin Rouge and orange juice which hits a high note thanks to a decent slug of oak-aged Compass Box Spice Tree whisky.

We're a little confused by the seating. There are no bar stools, and only eight or so fiercely contested perches in the main room. Which is understandable on weekends when DJs rule, but plain odd when it’s a near empty Wednesday and you have to request a chair from downstairs. But that’s an easy fix for a bar that otherwise is hard to fault.

Section 8 still holds a place in our hearts, but Ferdydurke has a place in our long term future.

Who won the Melbourne pub awards?

First published on . Updated on .

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm   |  

Ferdydurke details

Lvl 1 & 2
239 Lonsdale St

Melbourne 3000

Nearby Stations: Melbourne Central

Telephone 03 9639 3750

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