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(photo by Leah and Jordan)

One of the must-do items on Leah’s list was a visit to Der Raum, Richmond’s own secret speakeasy.  Der Raum wins oodles of bartending contests each year, is legendary in Melbourne, and listed No. 12 among the 2010 World’s Best Bars.  This place takes its cocktails SERIOUSLY, like to an art form.

Since we’d last visited, they painted the door black and implemented a locked-door policy.  “Quality control”, the bartender explained to me.  Unnerved, we plunged into a night of decadent drinkage.

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Leah and Jordan shared the “tour de force” (5 cocktails, interspersed with three alcoholic equivalents of an amuse bouche) and Steve played the “tourist”.  I watched on, taking frequent pictures as best I could in the dimly lit back corner, and sampling the occasional cocktail or sharing a sip with my companions.