131 Victoria Street, West Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The past decade has seen a rise in wine trends that opt towards natural drops. Free of chemical and technological intervention in the growing, harvesting and winemaking process, these wines offer a new range of flavours as well as being environmentally sustainable. Enter: Clever Polly’s, a West Melbourne bar and bistro that is committed to serving up natural wines alongside delicious Japanese inspired fare using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Owner Lou Chalmer opened Clever Polly’s doors in 2014 as a bar dedicated to sustainably produced, all-natural wines. Lou’s background in environmental science combined with her passion for hospitality found its home in her West Melbourne venture. Together with the restaurant’s manager Chris Dobson, Lou has put together the beverage list that put Clever Polly’s on the map. With a wine list that your passport would be proud of, from sparkling’s to whites, amber, rose and reds to keep you drinking till dawn.
In keeping with its Japanese inspiration, there’s a selection of Sake to be devoured, a Japanese rice wine with similar qualities to sake. Cocktails from negronis to spritz’s and martinis, on offer, as well as craft beers and spirits.
Given the success of Clever Polly’s as a bar, it’s now the food that’s setting tongues wagging. Lou has enlisted the help of Head Chef Sam Stafford to develop a Japanese inspired menu that plays on the sustainable character at the core of Clever Polly’s mandate.
Sam’s keen eye for seasonal produce has allowed him to put together dishes like charcoal grilled duck breast with miso consommé and cured mackerel with pomelo and avocado. The menu changes according to nature’s bounty, so expect to see something new each time you visit. Dinner is served according to the set chef’s menu, so all you have to do is keep your mind open to anything and let the dishes do the talking. Pair your dishes with delicious matching wines that accompany the chef’s menu to bring out the best of the flavours.
Clever Polly’s also doubles as a store, so you can take home some of the goodness with you and keep the good times coming.