Time Out Melbourne

Sometimes a new lick of paint, a new attitude and a name can just save you 

The Noble Experiment (TNE) has consumed the venue formerly known as Agent 284 and with a lick of paint and a few new, solid directions. This space, which has cursed the businesses past, may just allow TNE to see many more days. The concept is nothing new; TNE is named after the prohibition, with a lot of nods back to New York. TNE thinks of their drinks as pre-prohibition, but we like to think of them as old trends coming new again.

Beverages come both tricked up and traditional depending on the path you like to walk on the proverbial road. Upstairs is the New York Club Bar where they serve the barrel aged and bottled cocktails, but the staff downstairs are happy to grab anything for you from upstairs. In fact, their staff make the whole experience of going into a bar carrying some bad juju a whole lot more comfortable. Downstairs you’ll find cocktails such as Brandy Alexanders next to their take on a Fizz and trick it up with vodka where the traditional is with gin, Aperol, lemongrass and vanilla syrups, cold pressed apple juice, soda and pop rocks. If nothing catches your fancy, bartender Kristen Lemura will make anything for you provided she has the ingredients. She isn’t a proud bartender and will give you service before ego and we like that a lot.

Their four-week, bottle-aged Nearly a Negroni is easy drinking and sweeter than what you would expect, being made with equal parts of sloe gin, Lillet blanc and Campari. Taking an old idea and renewing it comes when they serve this to you with a house made sherbet to balance out the bitterness from the Campari. It’s a cute idea, but those who enjoy the bitterness of Campari may find it unnecessary. If you need something to soak up the alcohol, their menu is heavy on meat and salt, but is a step above what you’d expect in a bar with snacks such as padron peppers with miso yogurt next to confit duck nachos and whole roasted cheesy cauliflower heads.

It may take some getting used to entering a once jinxed space, but TNE could just turn that around.

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Updated on 5 Dec 2014.

By Jess Ho   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

The Noble Experiment details

284 Smith St, Collingwood 3066

Telephone 03 9416 0058

Price per person including drinks Up to $50

Open Wed-Fri 11am-midnight; Sat 10am-2pm; Sun 10am-10pm

The Noble Experiment website

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