The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for just $6 an issue - offer ends 29th January, 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Bar of the year 2008: Der Raum, Richmond, Vic

It’s no big deal to meet a bartender who’s also an actor or a would-be singer-songwriter. Bartender-artists are a rarer breed, though, and finding someone active in the arts who is working in a bar not so much as a sideline to support themselves but as a dual profession or indeed another form of artistic expression is a singular experience indeed. It might sound like a lot of high-falutin’ talk when, at the end of the day, we’re talking about hooch, but then Der Raum is no ordinary bar, and painter-cum-bar owner Matthew Bax is no ordinary bottle-jockey.

If you’ll allow us to quote from the Melbourne bar’s seasonal list, a small work of art in itself: "A little shelter from the world of fast, cheap, artificial-tasting drinks, all our cocktails are based on time-tested classics from the golden era of drinking." They don’t use any commercial cordials or syrups, all their juices are hand-pressed daily from the best fruit, and the team scours the globe for spirits.

The range stacks up well against any bar anywhere, and it’s hard to think of anywhere in the country that comes close. That said, there’s no fat in the list; it may be rich in obscure or unusual spirits (many of them exclusive to Der Raum in Australia), but they’re all there for a reason. We like them as much for what they leave out as what they love. Their blacklist includes ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages, post-mix soft-drinks and any cocktail with cream, Red Bull or Malibu.

Since it opened in Richmond in 2001, the bar has been showered with accolades, and named among the world’s best. We like them because they bring the same care and knowledge to making drinks that the best sommeliers bring to selecting wine, but never lose sight of the fact that bars are, after all, all about having a good time. For bucks and blazers, cups, punches, fixes, rickeys, highballs and mules, we make ours Der Raum.

438 Church St, Richmond, Vic, (03) 9428 0055,


  • Destination:
  • VIC

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
French cuisine heats up in Brisbane
A taste of Algeria in Northcote
What to order at Salt Bae's restaurant
Hot Plates: Pino’s Vino e Cucina, Sydney
Long Chim Melbourne opens today
Ben Shewry does souvlaki
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Albert Street Food & Wine

Philippa Sibley may have left the building, but Albert St F...

Aravina Estate

The family-friendly nature of Aravina explains the terracot...


Assaggio's very red, very mod fit-out has undeniable flair,...


The grey-whiskered Ben Willis could pass for a maturing, bu...

Annie Smithers' Bistrot

Annie Smithers may have decamped for Du Fermier, but the bi...

Aquitaine Brasserie

The name is a nod to France's south-west gastronomic heartl...

Bacchus - Brisbane

Rydges doesn't exactly leap to mind when you think "complex...


Pronounce it "bah-la" for Piedmont-born artist and composer...


The mixing of business and pleasure comes second nature to ...


Escargots, foie gras, bouillabaisse - the expected French s...

Carlton Wine Room

The relaxed ambience and witty, irreverent service may say ...


A land of smoke and mirrors, Celsius is an urbane, nightclu...


Mark Newman's cassia beef cheek is the type of dish that ce...


To those who dream of the old country, Divido is the modern...


David's hums with renewed energy since its transformation t...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.