When the menu features a pink fairy floss-topped martini (it comes in original or vanilla), a banana espresso martini (coffee, vodka, banana foam and banana chips) and a salted caramel mocha martini complete with toasted marshmallows, you know you’re between a rock and a hard place. Better order the lot?
Tucked onto a quieter corner of South Yarra and Hawksburn Village, Rock Sugar dishes out some of the best modern Thai and Instagrammable cocktails in Melbourne. Spirits, wine and a selection of Asian bottled beer are also on offer alongside the cocktail menu.
Soft shell crab in a steamed bao bun is served with pickled papaya, green onion and chilli jam. Spiced tuna tartare with avocado is a highlight, while sticky fried chicken ribs (there’s chilli caramel, because why not?!) will get everyone in a good mood. Crispy spring rolls are filled with rich, soft massaman curry made from salt grass lamb.
Slow and steady wins the race, with their unmissable 18 hour beef shin massaman curry (try saying that one fast three times) and why not add on the gluten-free spiced tofu—because it’s all about #balance. If you’re bringing a crowd (or just plain ol' bae), sidestep a headache and choose the feed me banquet menu which can be made vego, vegan or gluten-free-friendly.
The interior is lit up pink in the evening, featuring open brick and a neon pink “rock” emoji. Booths are perfect for groups, while cosy two-people tables connected at the apex to the bar are practically made for date night. There's a covered and heated courtyard, which is ideal for group bookings from winter through to summer. Let's be honest: once you’re inside, you’re unlikely to forget Rock Sugar.
Image credit: Michelle Jarni for The Urban List