Gather your friends and celebrate the good things in life at the exciting new watering hole in Melbourne’s CBD. Pronounced ‘pol-eh-pol-eh’, the warm and spirited bar and kitchen on Little Collins Street is a welcoming escape from the stresses of city life.
The name is Swahili for “take it easy” and is a word commonly used by locals to remind us to slow down and enjoy the journey. Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Dean and Jeanelle Mariani, is inspired by the couple’s extensive travels through East Africa. The vibrant energy of Sub-Saharan Africa peeks through in tasteful hints, from the flavoursome fare and cocktail menus, to the exotic decor and dynamic tunes.
is a true family affair, with the bar managed by Dean’s brother Adam Mariani, former co-owner of award-winning cafe The Petty Officer. Dean and Jeanelle are also giving back to the communities they have travelled through, with proceeds from imported African beer sales going to not-for-profit organisations YGAP who support social entrepreneurs in Africa, and Women for Women in Africa who support Kibera (Africa’s largest slum).
A curated menu of signature cocktails offers guests the chance to try some unique and intriguing flavour combinations; think ginger, honey, banana and coconut with hints of chilli and cinnamon. Those after something a little different will be excited by the distinctive selection of rare and imported African beers, ciders and spirits on offer.
Consulting chef, Andy Mac (Executive Chef at Axil Coffee Roasters) has crafted a communal-style menu offering a selection of sweet, smoky and spicy dishes designed to share with friends, including pork chips, ribs, biltong and pork-filled cigars. Punters are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and forgo the cutlery, instead embracing the simple pleasure of eating with the hands.
In consultation with Votre Monde Interior Design, the considered modern decor has been designed to create a warm and inviting retreat for guests to escape the daily grind. Previously occupied by Tony Starr’s Kitten Club, the space has been ingeniously re-imagined in a rustic light, pairing raw materials such as timber and concrete with an earthy colour palate of burnt oranges and charcoals.
is the perfect new venue to socialise with friends, standing as an ever-present reminder for guests to slow down, have fun and enjoy the journey.