It almost seems written in the stars that a cocktail bar with a whisky focus should be planted on a lane called Malthouse. This serendipitous coming together is for the Melbourne branch of Sven Almenning’s highly acclaimed Eau De Vie.

While Malthouse Lane is a very discreet setting for the Melbourne branch, the crowds will be given one more reason to scramble to this latest iteration. The addition of a dining concept offering cocktail degustation dinners charters brave new territory, but it could just work.

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 holds promise to making food and cocktails work through its pedigree, their obvious dedication and the highly premeditated design of the space.

Greg Sanderson heads up the drinks component. Former brand ambassador for Diageo’s premium ‘Reserve’ brands offering (including the likes of Ketel One, Tanqueray and Ron Zacapa Rum), and once manager of MurMur and Black Pearl Sanderson knows good booze.

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, be sure to take some good company so you’ve got something to focus your attention on.