Above Board, Collingwood

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MELBOURNE | Ever since two time bartender of the year award winner Hayden Scott Lambert moved on from his position as head bartender at Bar Americano, we’ve been waiting to see what his next move would be. The answer has finally come in the form of Above Board in Collingwood. Hidden above craft beer spot Beer Mash, Above Board is accessed via a laneway and staircase at the back of the building. Walk through the unmarked door and you’re greeted with a small, simple space that’s dominated by the large wooden bar.

Nothing here is an afterthought, and the entire venue is designed to draw your eye to the bar, to Lambert, and to the art of making cocktails. 12 stools grace the front of the bar and there are a few bench seats behind the bar with flip out tables. Lighting is soft and low, and all of the spirits are hidden in cabinets under the bar. Little details like the hand cut ice, skewers for garnishes and the type of glass each drink is served in are all chosen with reason.

Anyone who was a fan of Bar Americano during Lambert’s time will feel immediately at home here. The front of the cocktail menu promises “Bad banter and cocktails from my [Lambert’s] personal collection” and it’s a good reflection of what Above Board offers. Lambert loves to chat with his customers, be it about cocktails or anything else that pops up during conversation and Above Board is an opportunity for Lambert to fully express himself. The cocktail menu is focused, featuring a selection of classics and custom creations – we highly recommend the “Erin’s Delight”, which features London Dry Gin, Kina, Lime Juice, and Sugar Syrup. The “Empire Strikes Bax”, a sweeter concoction which is a homage to the sort of sweeter cocktail that Lambert’s former employer, Matthew Bax, enjoys, is also delicious.

If you’re not sure what you want to drink, do what we do and leave it up to Lambert. With answers to only a question or two, he’ll figure out exactly what you want to drink, even if you don’t know. We spoke to Lambert about his process for creating cocktails and it’s quite scientific. The menu might be small and simple, but a lot of thought has been put into every cocktail on the menu. There’s no pretension here, and no blind following of trends. Indeed, you’ll find spirits in the cocktails here that have long been forgotten by many a Melbourne bartender – Cynar, obscure Vermouths and the like. Lambert told us that it all comes down to serving up great tasting cocktails that customers like, and that he enjoys making.

We’ve been anticipating Lambert’s next move ever since we found out he was going to be opening his own venue, and with Above Board, we’re happy to say it was worth the wait. Bad banter, no pretension, and some of the best cocktails in town? We’ll drink to that.

Above Board

Level 1
306 Smith Street
Collingwood
Victoria 3066
Australia

Telephone: n/a
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://aboveboardbar.com/

Open
Tue – Sun: 5:00pm to 1:00am

Above Board Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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