Last night Melbourne got Sydney’s weather and also a version of Myffy Rigby’s TimeOut bar awards. The upstairs deck of the refurbished Emerson Hotel held host to more Ray Bans than have ever been seen outside of a Sunglass Hut, and lashings of Havana Club, Tempus Two wines and Sail & Anchor beer ensured the golden hue of new-age fun with a vintage feel descended in earnest.
Jason Crawley presided over the smokier crowd than attends most Roots concerts, resplendent in suspenders and dad jokes approaching the mastery of one James France.
Anyways, if history be written by the winners, let’s hope these folk are drafting prose anew.
Evan Stanley – Black Pearl
BEST BAR FOOD
Mr Wow’s Emporium
BEST FIT OUT
BEST PUB The Alehouse Project
BEST COCKTAIL BAR
BEST SMALL BAR
BEST NEW BAR
BAR OF THE YEAR
Sarah Fulford – Lily Blacks
BEST WINE BAR
The Carlton Club
HALL OF FAME
The Standard Hotel
Michael Rodrigues, joint CEO for Time Out Australia, explains: “Melbourne’s bar scene contributes so much to the texture of this city, and its great for Time Out to be able to put on these awards in recognition of their contribution. Like great cities, great bars stand the test of time – they weather changes in trends, changes in staff, changes in circumstance. They navigate these challenges because they are able to keep one thing in mind throughout. And that’s us, their lucky customers.”
Gemima Cody, Time Out Melbourne’s food and drink editor, adds: “It’s a great thing to have such a strong mix of new and established venues amongst our winners this year. It really shows that our bar scene has roots and wings, and good drinking isn’t going anywhere.”
Watch out Sydney, next Monday night is the annual TimeOut Bar Awards.
To celebrate the city’s bar culture, and to launch their brand new 2012 Bar Guide, the Time Out team is set to throw one helluva party at brand new Taylor Square venue, The Standard.
Toast Sydney’s amazing bar culture with fine and delicious cocktails including a Buffalo Trace Maple Old Fashioned, the Patron Perfect Margarita and Green Fairy Original Czech Absinth Wicked Party Punch.
To many eating is cheating, but I for one will be suspending such intemperant folly, as world-renowned chef Lennox Hastie of Spain’s Etxebarri will be at the helm of a one-off pop-up restaurant in partnership with Sydney restaurant gun John Fink (Quay, Otto). Even if that means naught to you, expect some tasty, tasty morsels.
Spirits aficionado and shirt garter champion, Tim D Philips
Is Tim Philips the best bartender in the lucky country?
The answer to that question is emphatically NO.
This is largely because he is in Thailand this week, drinking vintage Champagne, celebrating a wedding and using the powers bestowed on him as Bartender of the Year to perform feats of magic and intrigue, like changing people’s birthdays.
Despite his geographic challenges this week, Philips is being tipped by many to add to his World Class and Bartender Magazine honours at the upcoming ALIA’s as well.
His is the story of an Aussie battler, who has seen the world and come back home to mark his mark. Well, at least that’s how I’m writing it, by any means. It’s a tale that begins in the inclement city the rest of the world knows as Melbourne.
Like many of Australia’s top talent, Philip’s has a history that includes the Black Pearl and a trip abroad. Milk & Honey in London, a CLASS Bartender of the Year award and a stint in the lofty climes of Chamonix have all honed this man’s talent and approach to making the best drinks experience possible.
Tim D Philips raises his trophy and salutes his kin
The Philip’s family mantelpiece must be beginning to look a little crowded these days, with accolades piling up as this man brings his triple threat bartendering style to bear on both contests and the Australian drinking public.
First of all, this is a man who knows how to turn out a great drink. In terms of both product knowledge and cold, hard technique behind the bar he is a pleasure to watch and even better when the drink he is making gets handed to you.
Secondly, he is a man with platinum chat. Tim can put you at ease, extract your order and bring a smile to even the weariest of faces. Having great chat separates the good from the great, and this man can put the pressure of a contest aside to deliver a stellar performance, be it in front of industry legends in India, or yours truly in the Barshow green room (only slightly less glamorous.)
The third leg of his triple threat is creativity. From Campari fairy floss and edible dirt at World Class, to his work with live animals at the Barshow finals, this x factor just can’t help but shine through.
Philips is not without competition at the top end of Australian bartending by any means. LPC and Chirs Hysted (pictured below) took out the second and third places in this years Bartender Magazine awards. They both bring the triple threat, fashioned in their own indisputable styles to bear in any competitive situation, and their are again a cohort behind them, being inspired to make great drinks and deliver true hospitality.
It is exciting times with guys like this setting the standard.
Tim can be found, either through membership, a well placed bribe or perhaps just some honest outreach at Ivy’s level 6. Any of you who enjoy the simple pleassure of setting up at a bar to experience great drinks and a fantastic time would be well advised to seek out this hidden jewel.
You can also read Tim’s blog, for some unfiltered insight into life behind the stick served at cask strength, or pick up a Maxim magazine, where he also writes.