Our favourite bayside venue, with its comfy seating, chic dinner menu cooked by an ex-Chin Chin head chef and top-notch notch cocktails has been flying slightly under the radar when it comes to places to drink (and really settle in) Well, PSA: Tenpin really is the place you need to make your regular.
1. The Cocktail List
The cocktail list at Tenpin is the sort of thing that you’d expect to find a t a top-notch, inner city cocktail bar… that did nothing but cocktails. The menu is split in to glass type— perfect for the uninitiated! The range of flavours and spirit options will knock your socks off, many of them offer a twist on old favourites. For something super fresh, the Hidden Mule is exactly what the doctor ordered - it's a refreshing mix of lemongrass, vanilla, citrus and ginger. For something a little more eye-popping, the Peruvian Flake really packs a jalapeno punch. Keep an eye out for the Cha Cha, it’s a great one if you’re a fan of spiced teas.
2. The Food
The food at Tenpin really is next level. It’s rare for a venue to create such an atmosphere, purely through the dishes that it serves, but that’s exactly what Tenpin does. Designed and cooked by an ex-Chin Chin head chef, the menu is designed to share, making it the perfect place to head with a group of friends for a culinary treat and a relaxed catch up. Packed with South East Asian flavours, the menu includes some crowd favourites from the region, though typically they're served with Tenpin's own twist. You'll find that the menu starts with smaller dishes and becomes more substantial as you venture down the list, though there are no set 'entrees' or 'mains'. You can expect to find a healthy number of seafood dishes, some seriously juicy meat dishes such as pork belly, duck larb and BBQ Wagyu skirt, some epic curries of varying spicyness and a selection of oh-so-fresh salads. We recommend you order a range of dishes (best to get a little somethin' somethin' from each category!) to divide up between the gang. The scallops in half shells and the beef rendang are our favourites. Make sure you leave plenty of room for a dessert (or three!)
3. The Open Fires
When you think of drinks by a fire, you’re usually reduced to settling for a pub, but Tenpin has given that a good shake up. Our third favourite thing about Tenpin (after the cocktails and finger lickin’ food) are the oh-so comfy bench seats that sit along side a fire. FINALLY we can settle in by a fire and not be reduced to a stock standard beer and the footy blaring in the background. We headed to Tenpin recently for drinks, nabbed ourselves a much coveted spot by the fire and settled in….. and I mean really settled in! Wines turned to cocktails. Cocktails turned to dinner. And before we knew it, we’d made a proper Saturday session of it (#sorrynotsorry)
4. The View
Split over two levels, Tenpin offers the best of both worlds. Upstairs you’ll find something to suit all seasons. The bay-facing balcony is sheltered from the wind and is an idyllic spot to enjoy a bevvy or two. And for the cooler months (or just your standard Melbourne day!) grab a seat by the fire. Either way, rain, hail or shine, you’ll be able to look across the bay, Spirit of Tassie tucked to one side and enjoy the serenity. You can tuck in to a smaller, bar-style menu upstairs, or head downstairs to beach level to enjoy a full, drool-worthy menu. If you're after somewhere to host your next cocktail-style party to celebrate with a larger group, the fire-side section of Tenpin's upstairs has to one of our top picks for a party location. Tenpin will provide canapes, all the drinks... and that view!
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White and Michelle Jarni for The Urban List