There’s really two Bombas in Melbourne. One is Jesse Gerner and Andrew Fisk’s downstairs tapas bar, famous for bodega vibes, jugs of Sangria and enough tapas to make your belt buckle explode.
But then there’s Bomba rooftop. It’s been up there for the last five years: a sky-high bar slinging Vermouth cocktails and slightly addictive bone marrow toast. But now the rooftop’s been completely revamped. Welcome to the new-look Bomba.
It took Jesse and Andrew four years of planning, four months of building and about a million bucks to build this thing. They even had to close down Lonsdale St to get a crane in. There’s a new convertible patio (with retractable rooftop), enough space for 120 thirsty punters, and a wall-mounted projector streaming old Spanish films on a loop. The only thing they kept was the bloody fridge.
The menu has changed too. Pull up a copper stool at the bar and get stuck-in to Fisk’s latest obsession: Spanish toasties known as ‘Bikinis’ (named after the famous Barcelona concert hall in Les Corts).
Traditionally these are golden-pressed ham and manchego sangers, but Fisk is loading his up with confit chicken and pickles, jamon iberico (with a shaving of black truffle) or a sweet version—banana, mascarpone and dulce de leche. Our knees buckled when we tasted that last one...
You can also get old Bomba favourites up here, including the 12-hour, slow-cooked Pedro Ximinez pork. The fried whitebait with herb aioli is also a winner.
Booze-wise, expect the works. Eight taps pouring local and international labels (it used to just be a keg of Barrow Boys). There’s also sangria on tap (a nice addition) plus ready-to-pour ginger vermouth highball. The wine list is heavy on the Euro-drops, as you'd expect, but there's some nice local labels as well.
Along with rooftops from The Duke and Union Electric, Bomba’s new-look bar is a cracking addition to the Melbourne skyline. If you need us at 5:01pm on a Friday, you know where we’ll be...
Image credit: Griffin Simm