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  • Bars
  • Malvern
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. On A white plate there is a selection of cheeses, a chutney and a few raspberries next to a glass of wine and some spreads cheese onto a small slice of bread
    Photograph: Supplied/Essie Wine Bar
  2. A white bowl is filled with shredded beetroot, pink striped radishes, and a whole burrata cheese topped with walnuts
    Photograph: Supplied/Essie Wine Bar
  3. Inside Essie Wine Bar there is a large selection of wines all along the wall, a fridge filled with wines, and wooden tables around which people sit and drink wine
    Photograph: Supplied/Essie Wine Bar
  4. A white bowl is filled with thick cut pasta, mushrooms and parmesean cheese on top of a brown leather table
    Photograph: Supplied/Essie Wine Bar
  5. On A white plate there is a piece of bread topped with sliced topped and anchovy fillets, and someone picks up a half piece of the bread
    Photograph: Supplied/Essie Wine Bar

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Relaxed wining and dining in Malvern’s secluded leafy streets – say yessie to Essie

A suburban bar that’s busy on a weeknight is always a good sign. It hints at reliable food, great wine and friendly service that keeps locals coming back for more. Essie is no exception. Huddled on Malvern’s Station Street strip, this heritage Victorian wine bar is also the perfect in-the-know-hideaway to flaunt to out-of-towners. 

Inside, the feel is industrial-with-a-soul. Expect to be hit with an instant warmth thanks to the venue’s dark moody timbers, exposed brick walls, and glowy lighting. The fit out has been meticulously handcrafted and curated by the owner, Angus Brettingham-Moore, but nothing here feels laboured. Instead, settle in for a pretension-free, laid-back sesh. 

Whether you’re cosying up on date night or adding to the already buzzing atmosphere with a group of mates, Essie has a space for every occasion no matter the season. Hang out on the leafy street during balmy summer nights for curbside dining, pull up next to the fire in winter, nurse a glass of red in the front room in autumn, or duck out to the courtyard for a pint under festoon lighting in spring. 

The wine wall boasts over 200 bottles, making it a tempting siren for connoisseurs and rookies alike. Drops come predominantly from independent and minimal-intervention producers, and there’s a tipple from almost every continent, with a range of price tags to match. When asked if Essie has a wine specialty, Brettingham-Moore smilingly says, “everything.” 

Service is friendly without being intrusive and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the impressive wine selection, someone will give you a hand. Every bottle tells a story and if you come with an inquisitive mind you’ll be rewarded. If you don’t want to just impress your date for the night with a stellar drop, book into Essie’s private wine tastings ($65 per head) to level up your somm skills in the upstairs dining room. It’s not all about wine, and if you’re feeling like cracking a tinny or sipping on a classic cocktail, you won’t be forgotten.  

Food is satisfying and goes beyond the bar snacks of chickpea Panisse and cheesy croquettes (which Essie nails) and extends to a rotation of bigger plates, like seasonal pastas and if you’re lucky, jaffles. Another local favourite is the beef carpaccio. So much so, a neighbouring diner urges me unprompted, “order the carpaccio, it’s the best in Melbourne.” He pats his stomach and adds, “and I should know.”

It’s clear that Essie has earned a place in the hearts of Malvern locals. Spend a little time here to see it’s a place well-earned.

If you are looking for other places to sip wine, check out Melbourne's best wine bars here. 

Written by
Tess Fisher


35 Station St
Opening hours:
Mon-Wed 3-10pm; Thurs-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10pm
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