Melbourne is full of all these incredible cocktail bars hidden down laneways all over the city, each trying to out do the next with their quirky themes, elaborate drink menu and crazy gimics. If you aren’t struggling to find the entrance down a dingy alley or the right book to pull from the bookcase to open the door then something’s not quite right.
This is exactly the case with Eau De Vie. Having heard great things from our friends who went last week, from the challenge of finding the right door with no signage or indeed an indication of life, to the dramatic theatrics that go into each drink they ordered. You could say I was sold after I heard how the barman prepared their first drinks, we’re talking flames, liquid nitrogen fog…sold, we were going.
There’s always that tiny bit of self-doubt when you’re going into these ‘secret’ places, just in case perhaps it isn’t actually a bar and instead you’re walking into the service entrance of some back street Chinese. The only clue here is a little yellow lantern outside. Safely inside you’ll find an old jazz style bar with lux velour style furnishings. Definitely the place to come if you’re fond of your whiskey. Unfortunately neither of us are so we wouldn’t be taking advantage of the 400+ different bottles they have behind the bar.
After getting the barman to point us in the right direction on what to start with, we decided on the Scurvy Sailor and a Pina Colada esque one, both his favourites apparently so sounded promising. Obviously I instantly became envious and wanted Jonnys (the Sailor). It was like a tart, sour gin drink. Quite short, no frills, simply served in a salted glass but literally tasted so good. I kept stealing sips when he wasn’t looking.
Now we rarely go for cocktails and don’t order one of our favourites, a good old Bloody Mary. Trust me, we’ve sampled a fair few of these around Melbourne but I probably wouldn’t order this one again, there is better. The only redeeming thing was the cute teeny tiny little bottle of Tabasco they served with it and the pickled onions.
I knew we couldn’t leave without ordering their Expresso Martini. This is one of the drinks they’re best known for and involves a jug of liquid nitrogen. My friend sold it to me when she said that they freeze this cream on top that forms a layer to break through to get to the drink below. Erm… so yes please.
This is a great little bar for your next date night or a few special drinks. Definitely get a Scurvy Sailor. The bar bites weren’t too bad either, may as well throw in a bowl of olives if they’re there.
Find Eau de Vie here –
1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000