While it's been open for a touch over 15 months now, The Met is such a rabbit warren that veteran patrons still manage to get lost in its confines. The layout certainly presents a Choose Your Own Adventure scenario for visitors, with three rooms of music, five bars and enough secluded lounges and alcoves to nest yourself in for a whole night if none of the musical offerings takes your fancy.
Musically The Met has really upped the ante on its Valley rivals over the past six months, hosting dance music legends like Carl Cox, Axwell, Sebastien Leger and Mark Knight and even opening its doors to live bands - home-town heroes Regurgitator spent much of their late-2007 album launch singing the venue's praises from the sizeable stage. Considering the venue was a run-down cinema when they frequented it in the ?90s, it's hardly surprising the extensive makeover left them impressed.
As is the norm these days, The Met offers an exclusive VIP area (the Spy Bar is like a massive lookout over the heaving masses on the main room dancefloor below) and seven separate rooms and booths for hire. The real gem in this collection is the 50-capacity Dragon Room. Like a club within a club, this is the place to be if conversation is on your agenda. And the bar tenders will treat you like old friends, especially if you give them free reign to create a cocktail for you - the selection of spirits on offer really does boggle the mind, from $7 staples like Mount Gay Rum through to Grey Goose and Pravda at $12 (give the Vodka Mule a shot) and 18-year-old Glenfiddich reserve at $16 a nip.
Smokers have their own enclosure overlooking Wickham Street, but non-smokers be warned - if you're heading in here to rescue friends, you better pack your gas mask. Once you've retrieved them the progressive and tech house sounds in the basement level Coco room are the pick of what's on offer. Even if you don't want to dance, it's easy to natter a night away holed up in one of its many cage-like lounges.
Kris Swales, March 2008