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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

CUISINES
Bar, Australian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks
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meals, features

Location and contact

Central Business District
0.1 miles from Flinders Street Station
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Reviews (806)
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266
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31
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
266
359
74
36
31
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were looking for somewhere laid back to get lunch, so we decided to regroup, stop at the arboury and get a drink. While we were discussing pros and cons of different restraunts, we had a look over the menu at the arbory. Long and...the short of it, it was a no nonsense, but somewhat disjointed menu, but the food was great, and the drinks too, so we had a fantastic afternoon.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed April 6, 2022

Review of the Arbory Bar&Eatery, Melbourne, Victoria What’s not to like about the Arbory Bar&Eatery? We’ll get to that in a minute, but on the positive side the place is conveniently located, as-it-is, alongside and overlooking the Yarra River next to Flinders Street Station in...Melbourne’s CBD. This is a long narrow restaurant with a pay/services/information kiosk about halfway along the floor space. There are bunches of tables/seats and benches/seats at intervals along the floor beneath the trees. The restaurant is out there in the open with sun/rain shades that provide a measure of protection, etc. For those following recommended practices against Covid-19, you’re sufficiently far from all those risky strangers at the next table not to feel intimidated. And this, more particularly, given that >50% of the city’s population seems to have abandoned face masks. Sure, you can’t eat with masks in place, but you’ll know what I mean. It was reassuring to see that the wait/service staff were all masked. Wait staff at the Arbory Bar&Eatery deliver food/plates to your table so we found out (and they also clear the table afterwards), but all the preliminaries to your meal are DIY. There’s menus in weatherproof boxes on the table. Choose your plate(s) and, 20 m away from where we were seated along the pathway in between the tables there was the kiosk where we ordered and paid. By way of return you get a meal number to place in the middle of your table showing the wait staff where to deliver. There were 11 of us and we sat at a couple of adjacent rectangular tables each of which was provided with a single table number and, when the waitress arrived plates in hand, she had to ask around who had ordered which plate/meal. The system seemed to work reasonably well. After paying for the meal/plate you collected your table napkin, cutlery, glass, water jug and any condiments that you fancied for your meal from the stacked shelves alongside the service kiosk. No issue, except that this was not initially clear and the majority of the group had walked back to the table half expecting this would be the responsibility of the wait staff. No issue, mid-day and luncheon with a group of friends in town-for-the-day – everything/anything is possible. Our initial lack of experience, limited information, etc. of the place cropped up under the heading ‘What’s not to like’. The lunch menu was limited – two groups of meals. On one had there was choice of burgers/sandwiches or mix of grills, fries and, interesting on the other hand there was a choice of plates with the hint of Lebanese/Middle Eastern cuisine (this second group of meals were described as ‘Smaller’ on the menu). Prices for the burger meals were $22-25 and, for the others typically the mid-teens to low-twenties. We selected two ‘Smaller’ meals - flatbread with a handful of dips/spreads, and fried chicken wings with spicy pickled salad – and shared them. Delightful to look at, delicious to eat – sufficient for the day. All gone. We paid $31 for our ‘Smaller’ meals. Looking round the table, the majority of the burgers were dismantled before eating with a knife and fork and, equally, there was a lot of bread that remained uneaten. Then there was the downside. The place was noisy with canned music courtesy of the restaurant that ‘bong, bong, bonged’ away in the background like a disco. Sure … OK, perhaps for an evening meal when the bar-scene dominates, but not for your regular lunchtime table. You’d expect noise just a few metres from the busiest city station in the Metro Network. There was noise. It didn’t help that we also caught a freight train with two diesel locomotives with sufficient power to service a mid-size town that slowly roared through the station, but it was the endless line of trucks following that rattled past. You did not need to look up to know that it was still passing. When eventually the last truck disappeared, a V/Lines train followed through on its tail heading for Southern Cross Station. There’s a steel palling fence between the station and the restaurant with some straggly-looking climbing plants growing up the fence; time for some TLC - to replant/add more plants, mulch, fertilize and water. And, if that’s a ‘bridge too far’, then there’s always artificial floral screening – to screen the train visuals (and it may also help dampen the sounds). Perhaps the trains add atmosphere? Ironically, the canned music was not sufficient to counter the trains next door – the one source did not neutralize the other but simply emphasized the challenge of talking to the other people across the table. Then there were the mixed services. We checked on the meals coming after 15 minutes, and then they started to arrive. Except for one member of the group. She chased her meal a second time after half-an-hour when it had still not arrived. The kiosk could find no record of the meal; they apologized and refunded her purchase costs. Then, just as we were getting up to leave the meal arrived. Ha! Accepting the reality of the issue with further apologies from the kiosk the woman was provided with a plastic container that enabled her to enjoy her takeaway lunch gratis when she arrived home later that afternoon. And then there was the accident. Accidents happen to us all, of course. The waitress concerned had two coffees to deliver – the one to the diner at the end of our table and, the other, to the diner sitting in the middle on the opposite side of the table. Looking back … the waitress should have walked around the table and served the second coffee from behind; instead, she handed it across the table to the diner; arm outstretched … the tall coffee cup on the saucer wobbled and, very slowly, tipped to one side and poured the entire contents into the lap of the woman sitting next to her – the cup followed. Disaster! Everyone was astonished and not least the hapless victim. It had been like a scene from a slow-motion slap-stick movie. The woman took it philosophically; she took the wad of table napkins that the waitress had rushed off to collect and wiped herself down. What else could she have done? Humour is a great social advantage. She said: ‘Now everyone will think that I’ve had an accident.’ In summary then? Lots of opportunities to tweak thinks before our next time at the restaurant, which raises the issue of that single descriptor for ‘rating’: ‘Average’ or ‘Very Good’? Our meal/plates had been ‘Very Good’, but nothing else – location, noise and services – met that same high culinary standard. We’ll go with an ‘Average’. Peter Steele 06 April 2022More

Date of visit: March 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed March 17, 2022 via mobile

The 'background' music was way too loud and several requests to lower volume unsuccessful. Obviously catering for a young crowd and us oldies won't be back.

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed March 12, 2022 via mobile

Hopeless menu...no variety .. and way over priced ID SAY RIP OFF...try another place ...you will not be happy here and you will spend too too much...WALK BUDDY

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed December 15, 2021

overcrowded and understaffed. only 2 bar servers. you have to wait at the bar to find your table booking. People sitting at our booked table, moved and left all their glasses and plates which we had to clear. When our table was eventually wiped down...the staff guy looked miserable and angry.... Hamburgers ordered by all which were nice but the sides of chips tasted stale like frozen old chips. The cocktails were nice and the music was loud.More

Date of visit: December 2021
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Reviewed November 26, 2021

We visited Melbourne for 3 weeks and we went to Arbory 8 times!!! Just loved everything about this place, from the welcome crew, the ambience looking over the Yarra, the bar staff who are just super fun and a raw sense of humour, teh music...is that type of PERFECT music that you always want to find but can't seem to anywhere on spotify....and then there is the food, I think we tried just about everything on the menu and each dish just outdoes the next one! We were totally blown away each time and just couldn't venture out to many other places as we knew we had already found THE BEST! See you guys next time we are in in Melbourne!More

Date of visit: November 2021
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Reviewed November 15, 2021

Visited last night. The food was great and came out so quickly. However, the bar and staff made it a mediocre experience. The cocktail I had was probably the worst I have ever had in my life, no creativity and lazily presented. Worth half of...what I paid. The staff were indifferent to customers and seemed slightly unsure of what they were doing. It was also a freezing cold night and the gas heaters weren’t working. All the staff were dressed ready for the arctic. How hard is it to get some gas? The great menu and kitchen staff are being let dragged down by everything else.More

Date of visit: November 2021
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Reviewed April 5, 2021 via mobile

My friends and I visited Arbory Afloat for the first time - as we are all fans of the original Arbory. Hugely disappointed! The menu was over priced, and the selection of food wasn’t great. The Caesar salad had no egg, it was just lettuce...& mayo. Pizza was undercooked and mainly just crust and the serving of chips was pathetic. Plus the service was terrible. Half the staff looked hungover. We were served by a girl who clearly didn’t want to be there and was quite rude. Plus one meal came out after everyone else had finished their meals. Would recommend if you are hungry and expect good service to give this place a miss.More

Date of visit: April 2021
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Reviewed March 14, 2021 via mobile

Had an ale and a snack here whilst exploring the city. A good selection of beers, pizzas, bar snacks and people and boat watching. Both Arbory afloat on the river and the pretty Arbory itself under the shady trees above are well worth a visit.

Date of visit: March 2021
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed February 27, 2021

I called into this venue for a drink prior to going out for dinner. The place was very busy and I love the ambiance and great river views. I enjoyed a pint of nice cold Mountain Goat. This bar is located at the rear of...Flinders Street Station.More

Date of visit: February 2021
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Reviewed January 16, 2021

We had a lovely view of the river and enjoyed sitting and watching the world go by as we ate our meal. The food came out quickly and was delicious. The fried chicken burger was delicious. Staff were friendly.

Date of visit: January 2021
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Reviewed January 16, 2021

Ambiance great Staff great Food a disappointment.. Not great value or well produced Couldn't get a better position

Date of visit: January 2021
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Reviewed January 14, 2021 via mobile

Visited for lunch on New Years Day and had a beautiful time. Meals were well priced for a city restaurant and service was good too. Wagyu steak sandwich was excellent and highly recommended.

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed December 25, 2020 via mobile

Not at home for Christmas this year so decided to try the Arbory. The staff were friendly enough and the location is nice. Far more casual than I thought it would be. Plenty of food in terms of volume however I would say low quality....I was going to rate this 3 stars until my partner was ill later that evening. At $200 a head I expected it to be a bit more high end. The four pillars gin definitely was the main highlight. Mainly seafood so if you don't like that you're out of luck!! Cherry gives the quality/attention to detail away.More

Date of visit: December 2020
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Reviewed December 15, 2020

Four of us booked for lunch Sunday 13th Dec. Pretty disappointed with both food and service. Arrived on time, absolutely no signage or direction as to where to go to check in, best guess? Food and drink service was very poor, the staff are completely...disorganised with quite a few looking busy however not actually serving anyone. Food was bland and tasteless. Location is very good with great views, however until they get their management sorted and run the business effectively, there are many better options post Covid.More

Date of visit: December 2020
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Michelle H
January 16, 2020|
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Response from Hinanospider | Reviewed this property |
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Whatever you feel comfortable in! Our only dress code rule applies to no hi vis after 5pm on Fridays.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Arbory Bar & Eatery

Arbory Bar & Eatery is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5