It almost seems written in the stars that a cocktail bar with a whisk(e)y focus should be planted on a lane called Malthouse. The Melbourne branch of Sven Almenning’s highly acclaimed Eau De Vie is the product of this serendipitous meeting.
If the copious examples (in the hundreds) of whiskey (and whisky) from around the world, expert bar staff and extensive cocktail list isn't enough, the addition of a dining concept offering a five-course whiskey and cocktail degustation dinner charters brave new territory.
The kitchen is headed by Mark Favaloro (most recently from the kitchens of Movida), a young chef hungry to make a huge impact. Eau De Vie has a tapas menu, but one that doesn't stick to its Spanish roots.
And the service, whether it be from the floor or directly over the bar, gives you the sense that you’re in capable hands – that someone knows what you want to drink, even when you don’t.
If you simply wander into a bar like Eau De Vie, there is no singular component that makes it worthy of your hard earned money: it’s the overall experience. There is an old hospitality saying, “People don’t notice when things are perfect, they notice when they’re not”. In that respect, it may be best to go with someone that you find irritating, so you’ve got something to focus your attention on.