284 Smith Street
Collingwood Vic 3066
As history would have it, prohibition was actually an incredibly creative time for barmen. With limited resources, they came up with ingenious ways of manufacturing and distributing all manner of highly sought after liquor, making law breaking that little bit more exciting, the irony of which is quite laughable. This controversial time in history was referred to as the Noble Experiment, as the intent of the restrictions were a noble and very much experimental way of addressing societies issues. Fast forward to modern day Melbourne and a Collingwood bar of the same name is keeping this creative spirit of prohibition well and truly alive. Offering what can best be described as a mature, inventive and very progressive cocktail menu, the team at the Noble Experiment are definitely setting a whole new standard in the local bar scene.
Set in a relaxed but sophisticated space on busy Smith Street, this bar oozes class and old world charm without being pretentious. It’s the kind of place where you could enjoy a few after work drinks or have a lovely dinner with loved ones and everyone is guaranteed to walk away impressed.
I’m impartial to a fancy cocktail every now and then, but let me tell you the concoctions made here are really on another level. Take the Bathtub Gin for example, aside from actually being served in a bathtub (as comical as it is, it totally works!), this fruitier spin on a traditional gin and tonic is topped with foamy bubbles (its actually spiced rhubarb and pink grapefruit air) that create an airiness which gives the illusion you’re drinking soapy water. It sounds strange, but its surprisingly enjoyable and is a milder take on a traditional G & T.
Another stand out was the Spiced Berry Basil Smash. This very refreshing and fruity drink is a mixture of gin, lillet rose, spiced berry puree, nitro muddled basil, citrus, sugar and basil sherbet, with the end product looking very much like a berry smoothie. This was definitely my favourite drink and had it not been a school night, I could have easily gone a second.
The main drawcard is their cocktails, but that in no way takes away from their strong food offering. The menu is fresh, modern and sure to please even the fussiest of dinners. We were lucky enough to try a variety of dishes on our visit, but the stand out for me was the corn fed duck breast. Not only was this dish aesthetically appealing, it was simply divine to eat. The duck was cooked perfectly and each flavoursome piece melted in my mouth. Accompanied with a duck skin crumble, beetroot gel and parsnips, it made for a perfectly balanced and satisfying dish.
So if you’re after great drink and food in a sophisticated setting, look no further than the Nobel Experiment.
I was invited as a guest of The Noble Experiment, however all opinions are very much my own.