Flower Drum is opening a bar in its famous Market Lane restaurant

Famous for its tableside service, Flower Drum is opening a bar.
Famous for its tableside service, Flower Drum is opening a bar.  Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

First Flower Drum went and updated its elevator, famous for its previously meditative speed. Now general manager Jason Lui has confirmed that Melbourne's 45-year-old plus icon of Cantonese dining is opening a bar.

The news will not fail to stir the legions of Flower Drum fans who span the globe. This is a restaurant where throwing control to the kitchen is always wise, but where regulars can also still request favourite dishes dating back to the '80s. Two major changes in one year is a significant shaking of the status quo.

If all goes to plan, the now-swift elevator will open to a bar area, where cocktails and wines drawn from the Drum's 30-page wine list await.

In time, snacks such as dumplings 
will mean you'll be able to simply swing by Flower Drum for a drink and a bite.
In time, snacks such as dumplings will mean you'll be able to simply swing by Flower Drum for a drink and a bite.  Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

In time, snacks such as spring rolls and dumplings will mean you can simply swing by for a drink and a snack, or use the bar as a stop on your way to dinner.

Lui says the bar was conceived of last April, but was thwarted by circumstances. The build is now expected to be completed in the next month and he is hoping "conservatively" that they will open in early May.

Known for its classic gueridon or tableside service and faithful renditions of traditional Cantonese dishes, over the past year change is something that has become more familiar to the iconic restaurant as it was forced to reckon with COVID-19. For a time, its turmeric mud crab and roast duck became available as takeaway items via Providoor. 

Flower Drum Bar will be on level 1, 17 Market Lane, Melbourne, 03 9662 3655, flowerdrum.melbourne