At The Bar with influencer Rozalia Russian

Fashion influencer and former model Rozalia Russian is big on collaborating with fashion brands – her most recent with Billini revels with a range of heels that will take you from daytime soiree to cocktail hour – we do like the sound of that.

Her husband Nick Russian is owner of Bar Bambi in AC/DC Lane – the former site of one the city’s oldest rock’n’roll haunts Cherry Bar. Now it’s a hot spot for the fashion set who congregate for their product launches and an after dark girls’ night out, but it’s also a club lounge with a swanky cocktail list.

Rozalia talks to The Write Drop about how where she enjoys a tipple, her favourite spots to people watch and where she pulls up a bar stool when traveling overseas.

Why Melbourne

I was born in Uzbekistan and came to Australia at the age of three with my family. Life in Uzbekistan meant we were raised in a European culture, and it’s the reasons I love Melbourne. Our city has a European element to it which I really appreciate. I also love exploring the laneways, bars and restaurants – it’s what we are known for.

Food Memory

Longrain Melbourne is where I went on my first date with my now husband in 2017. It is still one of our go-to restaurants.  I always order the same items from the menu – betel leaf and pork.

Favourite Bar

Bar Bambi has been a labour of love, stress and intense pressure. I am super proud of what my husband Nick has built and it feels like my second home. Nick worked closely with interior designer David Hicks over four years to design and create an intimate vibe that instantly makes you feel welcomed when you walk in the door. Everything from the decor to the lighting has been thoroughly considered.  My favourite time at the bar is on a Thursday or Friday night when the piano man is performing, and I get to enjoy an intimate dinner with Nick sitting at the bar drinking Bambi’s famous Amaretto Sour.

Hotels Interstate

Whenever I travel interstate, I love hanging out in the hotel lobby bars at Crown Sydney or The Four Seasons and simply people watch. I also love hearing different accents from travellers, it makes me feel like I am overseas.

Drink of Choice

My go to cocktail is always a lychee martini. On my first overseas holiday to Thailand at the age of 19, I couldn’t get enough of them.  They were popular a few years ago and have come back into fashion, however I never strayed from them. I am a creature of habit when it comes to my drinks.

Favourite wine and winery we need to know about and why 

A super dry crisp white wine such as a Riesling, Vermentino or Soave. My favourite Riesling is one from Germany named Dr Loosen. It’s delicious.

A Surprise Wine

I don’t drink red wine, so I never really jumped on the rosè bandwagon, however when I gave Rameau d’or Provence Rose a go, I was surprised I quite enjoyed it. It’s great in summer with ice.

Best Hangover Cure

Nothing beats a fresh orange juice and a good old-fashioned ham, cheese and tomato toasted sandwich.

Best Newcomer

Chandon’s Garden Spritz. As soon as the weather warms up it’s all you will see me drinking. It’s a ready to serve sparkling wine with orange peels.



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