A while ago, a bunch of us decided that we would meet up before hand and go for drinks and catch up before our birthday dinner. We decided to stop at a hotel in Kings Cross that my friend had stumbled upon on Foursquare. Don't be fooled though, because this hotel actually leads to a small bar set up to resemble a Victorian style pub and there, we were introduced to Eau De Vie for the first time that night.
As we entered the hotel, we were actually quite confused because in no way does it resemble a bar/pub. But we were quite confident in our navigating skills so we decided to ask the concierge and as he smiled knowingly, he pointed us in the right direction to a closed curtain at the end of the hotel.
Walking past the curtain, I was a tad nervous but knowing that I was not alone, it felt pretty special to be in such a reclusive spot. Now you may need to adjust your eyes a little as the room is very dimly lit and will give you an adrenaline rush at the same time. But once your eyes are adjusted to the change in lighting, you will find that you are lost for words as you admire the setting of the place.
Patrons are given the choice to sit the bar and join in conversations with bartenders and other patrons if they are by themselves. Alternatively, groups of two people or more can find a spot on the lounge and before you have had time to acknowledge how relaxing this feeling is, a waiter/bartender will be at your service.
I fully expected loud, drunk and disorderly patrons that rig of beer or some kind of vodka/rum/coke shots, but boy, was I surprised! Not only was Eau De Vie maintains an atmosphere of classy, reclusiveness of a Victorian country club or at the very best, a small private gentlemen's club.
Once we were seated, a waiter/bartender appeared almost immediately and presented us with cocktail and food menus.
Given there were four of us and it was our first time at Eau De Vie, we fully expected the waiter to be very impatient and to leave us there to ponder over the menu and go serve other patrons. Technically, this was the way it played out, however, instead of leaving and never coming back until we call for them, the dedicated bartender came back within five (5) minutes and asked us if we were ready to order. He was also nice enough to ask what types of beverage we were after in general and suggested that he make us a bowl of punch that we could share between the four of us while we take our time with the menu. Best of all, we could choose what went into the punch. I actually don't remember what went into the punch but it somewhat resembles Nitro Punch #3 on their cocktail menu
My order, East Side Peach ($19), was a spectacular cocktail concocted from a soft combination of Tanqueray, poached peaches, pink grapefruit and lime with some bruised mint and served in an art deco coupette. Even now I can still taste the freshness and zest of the poached peaches and the grapefruit; the bitterness and zing of the lime which went extremely well with the Tanqueray.
While I enjoyed my drink immensely, the star of the night was the Ron Zacapa Blazer ($24) which we have nicknamed "the Goblet of Fire" and you will soon find out why. The Blazer was a mixture of Ron Zecapa, "arguably the best rum in the world, is fired with Pedro Ximenez sherry" making it a wonderful pre-dinner drink on a cold winter's night no matter who you are with.
The drinks are reasonable given it gives the best in all it has to offer. In the words of Gourmet Traveller "It's a place where the conversation is as good as the drinks and the drinks are as good as it gets."
So I highly recommend coming to this auspiciously reclusive bar just to drink and enjoy like-minded company... because... well... this is as good as it gets.