Mystery bar number 66
I was kind of hoping that someone would mistake the previous mystery bar for Matterhorn, because the décor strongly reminded me of it. It certainly appears that Allistar Cox and his team have aimed for a darker and more minimal look for this, the latest branch of Mojo in Bond St, than in some of the other outlets. It also moves a little further away from the daytime café model, as it has a full kitchen, function rooms, beer on tap and is open in the evening towards the end of the week, all of which bodes well for the upcoming branches at Kumutoto and in upper Cuba St.
A lot of my recent mystery bars have been more like cafés with alcohol than "real" bars, but that doesn't apply to this one. It doesn't open until well into the evening, and while some food is obligatory, it's all about the drinks. They specialise in cocktails, with an interesting list that twists and tweaks the classics without getting too silly. They're especially strong on Champagne cocktails, but there's a very comprehensive spirits selection and experienced staff who should be able to mix you any classic drink as well as leading you pleasantly astray with their own concoctions.
It's a themed bar in a way, but they haven't gone overboard. The décor is mostly a mix of elegance and retro kitsch, though there are a few prints and quotations around the walls to remind you of their concept, and a soundtrack and video loops that are a little more individual than you would expect for this part of town. One might almost have hoped for a little more surrealism, though I suppose after a few drinks the split-level floor, mirrors and carpeted walls might become disorienting enough on their own.