103 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

The view:

Nestled in the heart of Melbourne's Chinatown, Bomba is one of the city's many rooftop bars, renowned for their cocktails and Spanish tapas.

To get there, head through Melbourne's iconic laneways, wrangle through the restaurant (it'll probably be busy) and take a slightly dodgy looking lift up to the roof, overlooking the Lonsdale Street treetops.

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The vibe: Think sexy Spanish speakeasy – dim lighting, copper stools, cosy furnishings and cocktails.

Bomba is a take on a Spanish workers bar, inspired by the owner's love for the modern bodega. Photo / Instagram
Bomba is a take on a Spanish workers bar, inspired by the owner's love for the modern bodega. Photo / Instagram

The chat:

Our waiter was under the pump, trying to serve an understandably-raucous bachelorette party at the next table. But he still managed to take our order promptly and politely.

The menu: Though the bar is known for its wacky-but-delicious toasted sandwiches (think confit chicken and pickles, or banana, mascarpone and dulce de leche) we were just stopping in for an aperitif before dining at the restaurant downstairs.

Cocktails range from your traditional G&T to jazzier numbers like "Naked and Boozy", a concoction of Australian gin, rose, lychee, grapefruit and mint.

Bomba, a two-level venue with a festive Spanish tapas restaurant on the ground floor and rooftop bar in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. Photo / Instagram
Bomba, a two-level venue with a festive Spanish tapas restaurant on the ground floor and rooftop bar in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. Photo / Instagram

The kooky cocktail that caught my eye, though, had to be the most Australian tipple to ever be dreamed up – a Vegemite espresso martini.

The expectation: Even though the bartender assured me it "wasn't very Vegemitey at all"," I was sort of hoping it was. I'd gone to the trouble of ordering this wild drink, remember.

The reality: This is anticlimactic. I couldn't taste the Vegemite at all. I know, I was disappointed too. It just tasted like your stock-standard espresso martini.

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On the plus side, dinner downstairs was amazing. We dined on charcoal-grilled corn with dried maize, spiced lamb ribs with honey and yoghurt, braised pork jowl with cauliflower, jumbo prawns with guindilla pepper, capsicum and preserved lemon salsa, and a vat of paella. Absolute pigs but no regrets, would 10/10 recommend to a friend.