Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bond Melbourne

Disclosure: I was invited as a guest to Bond Melbourne

My girl Caryn and I? We’ve got history. Although she was the bigger partier animal than I (I am an out and proud nerd), we have shared many boozy nights on Asian clubbing nights, in cocktail bars, in pubs, at karaoke, at the races…and anywhere else two girls in university, who also work hospitality together might go create trouble in.

So when I got the invite to visit Bond Melbourne and check out some cocktails…well, I gotta call up my girl now don’t I?

And as you descend down into Bond from street level, with it’s soft reflective curves, Tron style lighting and flashes of brass and gold…Bond Street was certainly an upgrade from uni drinking days…we were now drinking as adults. 

We settled into our plush booth, as sensory overload took over; Bond recently had a $5 million renovation, and is certainly looking luxurious and slick for it with bottles of Belvedere backlit in neon pink, and the DJ was pumping some classic RnB that Caryn and I could not stop getting over all night. 

Since it was a Friday night, our hosts essentially decided that we needed to go hard or go home. So we started with a Protectionist cocktail, designed by the head mixologist Jack Coombes, with Hennessy Paradis, Starward Australian Whiskey, Aztec chocolate bitters, white chocolate, garnished with a large orange twist and served in custom made imported crystal glasses from Bohemia. 

Wow. Caryn and I could not get over how delicious this cocktail was. Despite the strength of the spirits, the Protectionist was silky smooth over the tongue, with a touch of spice, with the white chocolate flavour making a surprising, but delightful appearance at the back of the palate, giving a lovely lingering sweetness to finish the initial strong mouthful. The complexity was fascinating, and the richness addictive; although it’s certainly designed to sip, it is very easy to sip on and guaranteed to get you tipsy pretty quickly!

It also retails at $150 a glass, which is pretty rich, but I honestly have not come across many cocktails that have impressed me this much…and if 15 friends wanted to all pitch in $10 to treat me, I’d totally be in for that! 

A new liquid nitrogen cocktail menu is being introduced to Bond, and the rest of the cocktails we sampled were all made with this magic, awe-inducing stuff. 

The espresso martini was again simply so smooth, without a hint of bitterness…in fact you could hardly taste the alcohol and might be inclined to drink it as you would an iced coffee…which would be dangerous!

The ‘strawberry based’ cocktail (it was a bit loud, I couldn’t hear the full description!) was also very refreshing, although perhaps a little bit on the sweet side for me. 

We were next treated to Jack Coombes bringing a little setup to our booth and making an amaretto sour…but of course with a liquid nitrogen twist! Although we’ve seen it hundreds of times, it’s always magical seeing the waterfall of clouds just spilling out of the bucket, over the table and giving a little cold tingle as it meets the skin. Always loving the theatre! 

After putting the ingredients into the bucket, followed by the liquid nitrogen, there was quite a bit of stirring to ensure all the liquid nitrogen had melted (it’s deadly to digest otherwise!), but before long, we had amaretto sour sorbets. What fun! They did melt quite quickly, which meant we just had to drink/eat them faster…bottoms up! 

Hammer and Tong will also be catering for the venue, however on the night we were there, Banoi was serving up some delicious Vietnamese inspired eats, including udon noodles, Vietnamese stuffed bread ‘tacos’ and sugarcane prawns. If Hammer and Tong serves up anything similar to these flavoursome bites, they’re gonna do pretty darned well here!

Honestly, Caryn and I could have stayed all night (but her stubborn friends refused to move from the bar they were at...missing out!), switching to gin and tonic’s for me, and rum and dry’s for her, grooving along to some of our favourite nostalgic beats. Considering my office is just around the corner, and happy hour is insanely reasonable with $10 cocktails, I’ll definitely be back for after work drinks…!

24 Bond Street
Melbourne 3000

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