Brunswick Mess Hall
400 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
BarAmigo’s two pesos – cool, hip and a large cavernous hall perfect for a drink or food
When visited – Fri 1 March 2013 8.45pm to 11.30pm
Brunswick Mess Hall is a thriving, busy, happening venue great for a drink or dinner. It might be tough to leave once you get sucked in. Drinks available for everyone.
Throw on your beer goggles for this review of Brunswick Mess Hall cause we’ve been given a round of beers and a punch bowl.
Readers will know our reviews on Bar Amigo are generally positive cause we write about why you would turn up to a particular bar. But on this occasion, we are all genuinely impressed by what we experienced at Brunswick Mess Hall… and its not the free drinks talking… well maybe it was the overall number of drinks we had across the evening…
The Aylesbury, dumplings to line the stomach and now Brunswick Mess Hall. The tone of Brunswick Mess Hall is summed up by the chatty happy go lucky chick at the door waiting to greet you and see if you have a reservation. We jokingly pay ourselves out cause we don’t have a reservation… but we’re not here to eat so it isn’t a problem. At 8.45pm on a Friday, you’re no chance of rocking up and finding a table. Expect a 30-40 minute wait if you’re looking for a spot to eat.
The energy of the chick at the front table sums up the atmosphere at Brunswick Mess Hall. The place is buzzing and lively. All tables are full and even the side tables in the “indoor beer garden” (yeah can’t really think of another way to describe it) are full. Plenty of standing room at the back near the DJ but Brunswick Mess Hall’s tables are packed. Even the tables in the room out back is full. You could easy stand in one of the front rooms though.
Crowd wise it’s a general mix of the hipsters, the inner city professional looking crew and those who have travelled from further out north or northwest. No need to dress to impress with t shirts totally fine for guys. Except if you’re fitting into the hipster mould. Chicks in tights but also pretty casual but looking good for a Friday. Age wise you’re looking at mid 20s to late 20s as the rough median. Maybe towards the younger side but its still a wide mix.
Food at Brunswick Mess Hall is Asian inspired. The communal style food goes well with the punch bowls. Can’t believe I haven’t brought up the punch bowls earlier… We had a RumRum Punch Bowl (worth $90). Mix of light and dark rum, orange, passionfruit, pineapple and lime juice. Really nice and goes down very easily. And nice little touch with the flames in the passionfruit… certainly looked impressive. Highly recommended.
If you love your beers you’re gonna love Brunswick Mess Hall. We had Brunswick Bitter pints (expecting around $10 each). One of the guys grabbed an Asahi pint ($12). 14 tap beers and plenty (maybe 50 or so) bottled beers available. Fantastic for craft beers. I can imagine a long session at Brunswick Mess Hall drinking various beers.
DJ is playing a mix of soul, jazz and funk. We stood right next to him for a good couple of hours drinking our beers and punch so hopefully he wasn’t bored from our rambling conversations.
If you’re looking to pounce on a table sometime through the night don’t bother… the booking system kicks in. The staff kick you off rather efficiently but again its in that jovial easy going manner so you accept it pretty easily. They do their job well and look after their customers.
Speaking about looking after their customers, three thumbs up (if I had a third thumb it’d be up) go to Andy and Eddie (awesome name btw) at the bar. They certainly looked after us. They spent a decent amount of time making our punch as you’d expect from any good cocktail bar. Frustrating if you’re waiting to order but once you’ve ordered, you’re hoping for them to spend that time making your drink just right. And they threw in a round of Limoncello (well we think) shots to start.
We tried to do some research but we’re rather ordinary at that… We thought Brunswick Mess Hall was run by Australian Bar Holdings but we’re wrong. Brunswick Mess Hall told us that they are run by a group of guys that previous venues have included Murmur, Portello Rosso, The Mint and Penny Black.
Their experience shows and they have created something cool and happening on Sydney Rd. Like all new venues, the test is whether it can maintain its popularity longer term. Two months or so in (opened in Jan 2013)… Brunswick Mess Hall is looking like a winner.
We thought about staying longer but decided to hit up somewhere else on Sydney Rd. Spotted Mallard it was…
Brunswick Mess Hall is great for the communal dining and drinking in a busy, happening, lively atmosphere. There’s cocktails for the girls and craft beers for the boys… kids happy with their toys…. I should be a poet.
BarAmigo – Your friend at the bar
If you liked the atmosphere at Brunswick Mess Hall check out Little Creatures Dining Hall. The Local Taphouse is great for craft beers.
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