Magic Mountain Saloon
As you’d expect, my visit to New York created quite an impression, primarily leaving me with a deep respect for the way the bar scene combines food and cocktails.
Sure, we have bars in Australia that serve food, and restaurants that serve cocktails, but New York did it with a particular style and balance I hadn’t seen before.
The closest thing to my New York experience was Cookie, but to me the separation of restaurant and bar was still too strong to meet the comparison.
Enter Magic Mountain Saloon…
It’s no surprise that the break-through would come from nightclub nobleman Camillo Ippoliti. Each of Camillo’s ventures, whether that is Cookie, Revolver & Colonel Tan’s, The Toff in Town or Bonie, has brought something unique to the scene. Now the newest sibling is making waves, and for good reason.
If you haven’t been to Magic Mountain Saloon yet, you are missing out. It’s not your average bar by any stretch of the imagination. In fact imagination is the perfect word.
Guided by the neon lights on Little Collins, you could be excused for expecting fireflies and fairies inside. Though there are no mythical creatures, it’s just as enchanting.
The tri-level building is an architectural and interior masterpiece. A carefully considered composition of spaces and stimuli, from steel to mirrors; bricks to timber; leather to marble; bespoke murals to neon lights; and everything in between.
As the experience develops from day into night, softer colours and harder edges transform into luminous lights and softer lines by evening. Lighting dips to orange, gold and pink on sunset and by night the venue is razzle-dazzle, washed in luminous colour.
All the previous times I’d been to Magic it was wall to wall with people. I’ve sat at the bar enthralled by the bartenders, been captivated by the bustling vibe and mingled with the crowd. But this occasion was different.
I sat quietly alone, carried away by the deep melodic sounds and absorbed each layer of the experience as it magically changed from daytime to dusk. I watched the bottles glisten, the red candles flicker, and the playful reflections in the mirror and glass.
In a place as experimental as Magic Mountain Saloon you’d expect the kitchen and the bar to take the equivalent risks. Lead by the group’s head chef, Karen Batson, there are elements in the food and drink menus that remain consistent through the group, but they all still have their quirks.
A 24-hour license means that at Magic food is served with cocktails around the clock. Expect punchy Thai dishes complimented with a progressive cocktail menu that evolves from breakfast and lunch through to dinner, supper and beyond.
Beefeater Gin, Pavan Muscat Grape Liqueur, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters & Sugar Syrup
Crisp and refreshing with subtle grape notes, the cherry bitters is the star of the show in the Armistice, adding the sour that rounds off the finish
Absolut Citron Vodka, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Mango, Passionfruit Pulp & Passionfruit Syrup
Tropical and fruity, the Mango Catalina is perfectly designed to cut through the spice in Magic Mountain’s Thai food, and dangerously easy to drink
I And I
Plantation White Rum, Goslings Black Seal Rum, Fresh Lime Juice, Monin Coconut Syrup & Coconut Water
A modernised version of what the pirates and sailors drank to prevent skirvy, I & I is the perfect brunch cocktail, with a coconut water modern day twist
The Sky Was Pink
Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Laphroaig 10, Yellow Chartreuse, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Strawberries, Orgeat (Almond) Syrup, egg white & Peychauds Bitters
A fascinating combination of floral, peaty and herbaceous notes, The Sky Was Pink looks pretty but packs a punch, and is sure to impress
Open Mon – Fri: 7 am to 3am | Sat – Sun: 8 am to 3 am
62 Little Collins, Melbourne
“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss