I sort of don’t want to talk about Bad Frankie too much, in that it’s at a comfortable level of busy-ness now. I recognise that this is vastly overrating the influence of Yarra Drams, so what the hell.
Bad Frankie is fantastic. Their deal is that they deal only in Australian spirits and liqueurs, and if you think that would be limiting then you are vastly underrating the state of distilling in Australia. I considered myself fairly well informed where spirits are concerned, and I wasn’t familiar with more than half their menu. Yes, Tasmania features heavily, but did you know how much distilling was going on in NSW? I didn’t. This is the place to try all manner of local curios (e.g. Belgrove Ginger Hammer, a spirit made from distilling ginger beer. I did…not love it, but am glad to have tried it). My highlights: the Fitz Roy (cute), a Rob Roy made with Starward whisky and Maidenii vermouth, Archie Rose white rye, and Overeem sherry cask.
If the drinks menu seems impenetrable, relaxed and friendly staff are on hand to point you in the right direction. It’s the kind of place where they’ll take a spare seat at your table while they suggest which drink you might like, and bring the bottle over so you can have a look (without being asked).
Fully embracing our cultural heritage, jaffles are the entire food menu (for any international readers, it’s a type of pressed sandwich). The corned beef is a winner, and while the lamington dessert jaffle gets all the attention it’s the Anzac biscuit one (made with brioche, oats and golden syrup) that you should go for. Or you know, get both.
One last reason I love Bad Frankie is that it’s a bargain. Food’s all under $8, and there’s a decent and varied choice of whisky for $12 or less, including the aforementioned Archie Rose and three different Hellyer’s Roads. You can spend a bit if you want to (Nant, Sullivan’s Cove) but you can certainly drink well and be pleasantly surprised when the bill arrives.
A unique and delightful addition to Melbourne’s whisky landscape.
Bad Frankie, 141 Greeves St FITZROY