Bars and Nightclubs
The West End, Brisbane

The Lychee Lounge

2/94 Boundary St, West End, QLD
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Remains an expression for innovation and one of Brisbane’s truly unique bar and restaurant experiences. Lychee Lounge is an exotice oriental lounge experience, replete with opium den, Tatami dining and a magnificent Samurai inspired bar. Lychee’s most impressie offerings come by way of the mixologist’s lists of cocktails, drawing on fresh produce, exotic spirits and stunning flavour combinations. This venue merges the Oriental and Eastern decor with the culture of the Brisbane West End, creating an intensely unique experience.

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The Lychee Lounge Review

Review by Larissa Willems

The Lychee Lounge – with the clever use of alliteration in the name it automatically conjures up images of class and panache, and this is true, to an extent.

As you walk in the first thing you notice is the modish bar staff and waitresses. It’s always a pro to walk into a bar and see trendy personnel as it’s a sign you’ve come to a good bar, but it’s a con to have an unbalanced ratio of people making the drinks to people bringing the drinks. For one, this made service quite slow – even if they were quick enough to bring you a drinks menu as soon as you walk in and sit down, it was still ages until you actually got your $20 cocktail. They also have an odd system of instead of receiving your change as you pay at the bar; it gets brought out with your drink. This is fine I guess, but at the time I just didn’t want the waitress to think I gave her a $10 tip.

The people I found here on a typical Friday night varied between the swanky early-to-mid people in their twenties, to particularly boisterous 18-19 year olds who swapped formal attire for furry beanies, a noticeably older crowd around their mid-30’s to 40’s down to the unaccompanied 60 something year old sipping wine at the bar.

The décor is also worth a mention. A large wall plated with what resembles golden dragon scales coupled with the doll dozens of doll heads screwed onto a chandelier both make for eye catching features. The table we were seated at also had a skeleton hand lying in sand underneath the glass surface. All in all, the furnishings at the Lychee Lounge are enough to make you go ‘Wow!’ once as you widen your eyes in amazement, but it’s really nothing to sustain a conversation over.

On the other hand, the food and drinks menu is something to get excited over: with favorites such as the Lychee Lounge Martini and the Italian Sour in the company of the more daring drinks like Drunken Monkey and Purple Haze all ranging from $13 to $20 as well as a very impressive beer, wine and spirits menu. The food menu boasts a great range too. From snacks like Shiraz marinated lamb cutlets with potato, beetroot and parmesan crisp at $12, to mains like Prosciutto wrapped chicken breast with mushroom, potato, broccolini and sun dried tomato from just under $30, it’s clear to see why some consider this to be one of their West End Favourites.

So what’s the bottom line of the Lychee Lounge? Service is friendly but sometimes slow, the décor is nothing to get excited over, the type of people that come here are inclusive and the cocktails and the food are probably the best thing about this place.

My advice: Don’t go across town just to visit this place but if you’re in West End and happen to walk past, it’s definitely worth a look.

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A Second Review of The Lychee Lounge

Review By Maria Bailey

Add a measure of class, a dash of sophistication, infuse an oriental twist and you will concoct the quintessential essence of the Lychee Lounge. While eight years in bar terms is a lifetime, this little treasure continues to impress crowds with its embracing atmosphere and tantalising cocktails. This intimate bar and restaurant epitomises West End’s quirky style, combining oriental and eastern decor for a truly unique experience. A gold plated mural resembling dragon scales grace this venues walls, accompanied by eccentric modern mood lighting and a chic comfy lounge setting, makes your visit a truly hospitable one.

The attention to detail does not stop at the decor. While the expansive decorative drinks menu includes informative detailed tasting notes, the drinks consist of innovative complementary flavours that are skilfully designed by its intuitive creators, even down to the last ice cube.

As a loyal customer to this exclusive cocktail lounge over the years, it’s good to see old favourites don’t cease to exist. The Lychee Martini, priced at $13, is still on the menu and so is Pavlova priced at $15. However, you would be wrong in thinking the drinks are as old as the bar–the mixologists have been hard at work creating a medley of imaginative cocktails, ensuring the menu has something to suit the most fastidious tastes. New concoctions such as Apple Crumble No. 2, $15, tastes as it sounds, satisfying those with a sweet tooth, infusing havana especial with cassia bark, apple schnapps, fresh lime, apple juice and nutmeg. Lure a friend to the lounge on a Wednesday with their irresistible two for one mojito deal, $15, and go halves–the zesty, mint, havana club blanco combination will not fail to excite your taste buds.

While the food menu might not be quite as extensive as the drinks menu, and the vegetarian options are limited, it offers a broad range of tapas such as a roast field mushroom dish, with prices ranging from $7 to $10. The Mains draw on Asian influences, such as a lychee pad thai dish, where prices start at $18 and end at $28. Finally, for desert they offer a fruity selection such as an apple and rhubarb crumble desert, where prices start and end at $10. While limited, the food menu proves to be every bit as eccentric as the cocktails, satisfying those looking for a different dining experience.

The crowd is as varied as the drinks list, being a cosmopolitan hotspot for the sophisticated,whom enjoy engrossing conversation and share a weakness for flavoursome cocktails.

The friendly service is highly attentive without being intrusive, providing prompt table service and thus eliminating the hassle of waiting at a crowded bar. Once experiencing the Lychee Lounge you soon realise you’re not at an average joint, but an exclusive establishment staying true to its name, a lounge: a place to unwind, relax, and be served on hand and foot.

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