Breezy Southbank bar Hop­scotch.

From make-your-own cock­tails to beer can chicken, this crowd-pleas­ing Southbank bar will have you hop­ping along

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - HOP­SCOTCH: RE­VIEWED BY ME­GAN MILLER

BAR snacks don’t come much bet­ter than the cheese­burger spring roll.

Crunchy sesame-sprin­kled cigars of oozy, cheesy mince that fuse two fast food loves have be­come a sig­na­ture at Hop­scotch, a new breezy Southbank wa­ter­ing hole that seats you and 150 friends with­out feel­ing like a beer barn.

It’s a colour­ful set-up, full of benches, booths and stools to perch amid an eclec­tic in­dus­trial fit-out. An am­ple river­side pa­tio with ar­ti­fi­cial grass floor opens to a ware­house space ac­cented with con­crete, neon, tiles and bright art.

There’s no ta­ble ser­vice so you’ll or­der food at one bar and drinks at an­other.

The jet­set­ting menu trav­els to Hawaii with a poké of salmon and kim­chi or tofu and sea­weed, a Mex­i­can bur­rito box, a Ja­panese-style beef tartare on wasabi crack­ers, and a Thai-in­spired tom yum salad with chicken, herbs and pa­paya.

The Reuben is top-notch with gen­er­ous slices of smoked pas­trami be­tween good rye with melty Swiss cheese and pick­les for cut-through.

It’s crowd-pleas­ing food, mostly quick, qual­ity bites to en­joy in one hand while there’s a drink in your other. Per­haps not the beer can chicken, though. Feed­ing four “or two if you’re hangry”, it’s a whole bird cooked low and slow with a beer can up its, umm, stuff­ing, with sides of mac ’n’ cheese, slaw, Brus­sels sprouts and gravy.

Natty turns are ev­ery­where – from cau­li­flower-cheese cro­quettes served in half an egg car­ton to the nitro ice cream bar and hop­scotch grid on the floor. Free pop­corn in a daily-chang­ing flavour fu­els a thirst for those 30 beers on tap.

Not into beer? Un­lock a DIY cock­tail kit for two (espresso mar­tini or pina co­lada) or say yay to frosé.

Hop­scotch is cool, vi­brant and sat­is­fies just about ev­ery ca­sual din­ing need, from work meet­ings to Tin­der dates and TGIF drinkies. Hop on in.

From top: cock­tail hour, the breezy bar, and the beer can chicken.

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