Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Den - One of Inequity

After the awesome long lunch last Sunday at the Bohemian and still being in the zone after an extended session at other venues around Southbank, I felt the need for oysters and vodka.The first place that I thought of attending was the Oyster Bar at The Atlantic. Being in a malleable mood, I also wanted to experience what The Den had on offer after seeing it advertised so often by woman that possesses a head that resembles a fish (literally) in the venue's advertising.

The service in the Oyster Bar is just as professional as what you will find in the restaurant and is consistent with what I described in a previous post when I visited the restaurant which was surprising. I was expecting the service not to be as professional since you are in the bar area but that was not the case. After observing another table consume a seafood platter, I was both jealous and frothing at the mouth as it looked substantial and beautiful. My overwhelming desire for oysters did take a hold in the end though. What I did find curious is that you must order three of the same type of oyster where in the restaurant I believe you are only constrained to having to order two from the same region.

Not being content to rest on my laurels, I wanted to explore what was on offer at the bottom of the staircase. I paid the bill and with the epicurean emo in tow, we stumbled down the stairs like thieves in the night into The Den.

I had never seen a photo of the bar and I did have a preconceived notion of what it would be like since we were in Crown Tower of all places. What I found was completely opposite to what I expected. The Den is set up like a stately study, a place that you would find in a mansion in Toorak or the set of Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. It was a pity that I did not spot Nicole Kidman sipping a wine in the corner as the table was occupied by hipsters sharing a glass of Coca Cola as they waited for their table to be made available in the upstairs restaurant sadly.

The barman proved to be quite knowledgeable and very amusing. He recanted tall tales as he poured glasses of 666 vodka. It was not only comfortable but convenient to do our duty by holding up our end of the bar whilst relaxing in a place that defied expectations.

There are hundreds of places that you can drink in the area. You can not compare and contrast the quality of the product as that remains constant, but it is easy to segregate different levels of service. Like with the Oyster Bar and the restaurant upstairs, the service in The Den, remains constantly professional, efficient and amusing when required. Besides The Waiting Room, I can not think of a place that affords the customer this type of service in Crown or the general area for that matter.

Like with the restaurant and the Oyster Bar, quality and service comes at a price, but if you are looking for a relaxed time out and away from the madness of the casino, The Den can not be beat. I am looking forward to returning on a Thursday or Friday night to hear the piano being played. It just seems like the right thing to do.


The Den at Atlantic, Crown Casino
The Den at The Atlantic
Link to review
Under "The Atlantic", Crown Casino
(03) 9698 8888
http://www.theatlantic.com.au/the-den
My Rating: 16/20
Service: 4/5
Ambiance: 4.5/5
Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3.5/5
Comment: Great list of spirits and love the decor


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