They had me at two words: Cocktail Degustation. It’s a regular thing at Fall From Grace, the glamorous cocktail bar underneath Collins street bar and restaurant State of Grace, and I was invited to try it out.
I’d been to the bar once before when it was still Negroni but it has now been transformed into a subterranean space which you enter through a hidden door in a bookshelf. Going down the stairs feels like you are Alice in Wonderland descending into the rabbit hole. A deer head pokes out from one wall, a pair of mannequin’s legs from another and there’s the biggest chandelier you’ve ever seen dangling from the ceiling
A Citroen vodka cocktail called “Faraway land” kicked things off with a dash of sweet peach puree, muscovado and some bubbles.
There were also canapes of an olive oil “cake” which was like a focaccia, a rather literal interpretation of a sausage roll (a roll with sausage meat hidden inside it) and rich chicken liver parfait on a biscuit.
Pretty as a picture the “Rouge Rouge” cocktail was gin based with raspberry puree, yuzu and juniper shrubb, Anitca formula and lavender bitters. The drink was topped a little randomly with pink peppercorns. There were a lot of flavours going on and a few got lost in translation but it was certainly easy to drink.
I scored the “Golden Goose” out of two alternating mains with the bird cooked to just the right stage and teamed with some crushed broad beans and quinoa. It was a great balance of flavours and textures although the meal was a little on the cold side by the time it got to me. It was teamed with my favourite cocktail of the night – a gin cocktail called “Tall Tales”. It included Summer Cup, plus artichoke liqueur, lime juice, salted caramel treacle and cardamon bitters. For me this had just the right amount of bitterness and tang to keep the drink interesting and refreshing.
I wasn’t so keen on the final cocktail of the night – the “Midnight Strike” with its mix of cognac and Pedro Ximinez was too strong for me – one to really put hairs on your chest. But it did pair well with the dessert of pumpkin pie teamed, white chocolate mousse and crumbled shortbread. I’ve never been totally convinced by pumpkin pie (it’s a vegetable!) but Fall from Grace’s take had the right amount of sweetness to steer it into dessert territory. The cocktail degustation was a lot of fun. It was also very good value at $80 for four cocktails and a three course meal. Just four cocktails alone often cost nearly $80. The emphasis is on the booze rather than the food but the food isn’t bad at all.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review the cocktail degustation at Fall From Grace. The theme for the cocktail degustation changes regularly and you need to book.
Details: Fall From Grace, 477 Collins St, Melbourne CBD (Ph 03 8644 7110)
Damage: Reasonable at $80 per person. On this occasion I did not pay.