It’s been a long week. A long week of over working, under sleeping, poor eating and many
mugs jugs of coffee. A week that called for wine and something delicious that contained at least one vegetable – it’s only a Thursday after all.
A friend is in town for the 20th International Aids Conference and I’d been scratching my head all week thinking of somewhere in the CBD for an easy, inexpensive yet typically ‘Melbourne’ spot for dinner and drinks – with no queuing required.
Thursday arvo it hit me in one of those ‘duh’ moments: Shebeen Bar.
Tucked away down Manchester Lane, Shebeen Bar serves daytime and nighttime drinks alongside a mishmash menu of vegan superfood salads, Banh Mi, sliders, vegan ice-cream and even raw chocolate. It’s a bit of a mix of everything.
Inside it’s a little bit kitsch, a little bit retro and very laid back – lino covers the tables, murals along the walls and some fake greenery snakes along the roof.
What makes Shebeen a little more special is all of its profits go to the developing world. You can even choose which charity your dollars go towards as every beer, wine, cider and margherita sale sends a donation back to the drinks country of origin. While you might not recognise many of the beer or wine labels, as all the proceeds go towards a good cause you may as well try a few.
Speaking of boozing….. By the time we arrived we were starving and looking a little crazy eyed for some wine. I’d heard Shebeen had mulled wine on the menu for winter and it did not disappoint. Large metal flasks were placed down in front of us and filled to the brim with a fruity and spicy mulled wine.
For dinner I ordered my favourite dish, organic black bean noodle salad with a miso lime dressing, pistachios, slivered almonds and a side of smoked tofu served with roasted eggplant. The miso lime dressing is deliciously tangy and together with the crunchy nuts balances out what otherwise could be quite bland noodles.
My fellow diner ordered three of the sliders – pork belly, Mexican pulled pork and shredded BBQ beef. The pork belly was picked as the favourite for its crunchy crackling and the BBQ beef the least as it was a little overpowered by the mayo.
Shebeen’s food and drinks are reasonably priced and they’re open from lunch until the wee hours of the morning Monday to Saturday. Whether you’re stopping by for the food, drinks or to catch a gig in the Bandroom it’s the ideal place to help a long week seem a little more bearable.
She’s real good
36 Manchester Lane