The Noble Experiment is conducting its own little experiment on Smith Street as a bar/restaurant. It’s trying to do the slashie thing where it straddles both cocktails and food.
I was invited to try it out last week when the rain was pelting down and The Noble Experiment was a welcome refuge with its warm lighting, wood panelling and leather banquettes. The Noble Experiment’s name is inspired by the Prohibition era and the placed does have a bit of a speakeasy feel to it despite the big windows fronting onto Smith Street.
The cocktails are real show stoppers with the gin based La Madeline ($18.50) coming with its own additions of lemon juice and a sugar syrup in tiny bottles so you can tweak the bitterness or sweetness of the cocktail to your own tastes. It’s a little on the twee side but I liked being able to customise my cocktail and the result was admittedly delicious.
Like the cocktails, the food at The Noble Experiment is also quirky and highly considered. I tried the chef’s tasting menu ($55) which started with ceviche scallops – lightly cured in lemon giving them a tartness.
Other highlights from the menu included the cobia doused in chilli sauce and the house made gnocchi which was like a hug in edible form: comforting and filling.
There are misses as well, caramelized Brussel sprouts were sickly sweet and the roasted quail served with chestnuts, mushroom, and Jerusalem artichokes had too many flavours on the plate.
Where The Noble Experiment really excels is when it comes to dessert. I tried a trio of desserts including a rich, fudgie chocolate brownie, a burnt butter, passionfruit and whey confection and a revelatory beetroot parfait which was both sweet and savoury at the same time. The parfait was one of the best desserts I’ve had so far this year and really showed how The Noble Experiment is pushing the boundaries.
The Noble Experiment is worth a visit but I’d recommend it most for a cocktail and dessert.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review The Noble Experiment.
Details: The Noble Experiment, 284 Smith Street, Collingwood (Ph 03 9416 0058)
Damage: Reasonable. Although on this occasion I didn’t pay.