Monday, January 15, 2007

Chill On, Russell St, Melbourne

Chill On, Russell St, Melbourne
Monday 15 January, 2007

After dinner at SOS Melbourne we were walking back down Russell St when we spotted the rather non-descript entrance to 'Chill On'. This is Melbourne's first ice bar (it opened approximately 3 months ago) and according to the staff - it's larger than Sydney's Minus 5 bar.

We entered the small reception area and paid our $30 (this included one cocktail) before realising we were in dresses and strappy shoes - oops! Must have been all that wine at dinner and the excitement of our last night in Melbourne! We laughed as the staff attempted to fit us out in ugg boots, ski jackets and gloves. We laughed even harder as this didn't cover our legs - we had exposed legs but our hands, body and feet were nice & toasty.

We were given a very laid back drill before they put timers around our necks - 30 minutes maximum and then we had to exit. We didn't think we would last the 30 minutes but entered anyway to be met by three tourists enjoying the final minutes of their stay. They were absolutely freezing and at this point jumping around and dancing to stay warm. It was hilarious and we made our way to the bar to order.

The interior of the ice bar is spectacular with dozens of large ice sculptures, a throne, lounge chair and walls all carved out of ice. There were lights on that rotated between blue, pink, orange and green that provided a nice change and something else to focus on from the cold. The current temperature was -10 degrees but we hardly felt a thing (at first).

I ordered the summer cocktail of vodka and berries and had it presented to me in a large ice tumbler - our barman shared that they have a local company that maintain the look/ feel of the ice bar and also prepare the ice tumblers. The staff at ice bar prepare the ice shot glasses when it is not that busy using ice moulds.

Whilst we found the staff pleasant I felt they could have done more to enhance the experience - share some stories, discuss some interesting facts & figures and ensure your 30 minutes was memorable. I even thought they could have employed a line up of charismatic bar staff to achieve this - the staff we had, whilst pleasant enough, only spoke when spoken to.

The ice bar has a license till 5am, however they have not remained open that late since they opened three months ago. We entered around midnight and lasted the full 30 minutes (it was getting very cold at the end) which we were very impressed with. I took lots of photos however be warned you have to take your gloves off to operate your camera!

I haven't been to Minus 5 in Sydney yet but I think it would be a fun thing to do with a group of friends.

Chill On - 296 Russell Street, Melbourne - (03) 9663 3877


Blogger Nicole Smith said...

We have moved;
Southgate Complex Mid Level MR6 3 Southgate ave Southbank 3006

1:44 pm  

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