Q&A Scene: Dani Cillessen, Bar Manager at Spotted Mallard

Tell us about the wine/ drinks list ?

We have an array of wines to suit any mood. Mainly sourced from South Australia and Victoria, although we do have a few internationals in the mix as well. Samanda, one of the owners absolutely relishes in the chance to get in something new. She definitely has passed her love of wine onto me.

We are strongly focused on craft beer as well. We have a selection of bottled beers, as well as eight rotating draught lines. Mainly focused on Victorian breweries, we do also have the occasional appearance from other interstate and international breweries.
Add to that a strong spirit selection, and you’ll be hard pressed not to find something you’ll love.

How would you describe your food / drink in music form ?

I guess its like an artist that is constantly evolving. We may change styles here and there, but we stay true to our roots. Almost everything in the kitchen is made from scratch. Its like they’re their own producers. Mixing whatever styles they are in the mood for. We will always have our hit song (Wagyu Beef and Bacon Burger), and hits can become a classic for a reason.

Which drink resonates most strongly with you and why ?

Beer. Beer. And more beer. The craft beer scene has completely exploded in the 10 years I’ve been working in this industry. It’s great to see so many local breweries coming up with their own unique takes on all different styles. At the Mallard, we are constantly rotating our kegs. It’s always exciting to get in something new, have a taste, and compare with other staff and customers. I love that beer is now such a strong force within the food scene as well. Its great to be able to pair a beer alongside a main, and show a customer it doesn’t always have to be wine.

Any behind the bar anecdotes you wish to divulge ?

Something that won’t get me into trouble…
Our boss needs to change the passcode for her phone. Lets just say the staff like to take a lot of photos…

Where do you draw inspiration from ?

My Dad. Dad has worked in the hospitality industry for much of his working life. He can’t get away from it. Even if its just a bit of part time work pulling beers. When I quit studying, to move full time to hospitality, he was probably one of the only people to NOT say to me “yeah, but when will you go and get a REAL job?” He supports my endeavours 100%. PLUS, he ran a nightclub back in Holland in the 70’s!… you never really picture your parents being cool… but… I’ve seen old photos. They kind of speak for themselves.

What’s your scene ?

I work. A lot. So in my downtime its usually video games and beer. 95% of my friends are working in this industry, it becomes hard to actually have a social life sometimes… besides sitting around at 2am enjoying a knockoff with my colleagues. If I get the chance, I will try and get out to some new bars and restaurants and see what everyone else has to offer.

About Spotted Mallard

The Spotted Mallard has the winning trifecta of great food paired with craft beer and local wine, live music and an atmosphere like no other. For a pint  matched with pub grub, give the Spotted Mallard a go.

314 Sydney Rd,
Open from 4pm weekdays
2 pm weekends

Gigs 8.30 – 9.30 pm

Ph 9380 8818


About Anna-Maria Megalogenis 157 Articles
Anna-Maria has been writing for Street Press in Melbourne and Sydney for over 20 years. She is passionate about food, music and the arts, is an avid reader and used to hand write reviews for Beat Magazine at the Great Britain Hotel, where a patron once suggested she was ripping off articles in Rolling Stone magazine.