Monday, 11 March 2013

Cocktails at Chino Latino Vauxhall

I was at a house party on Friday night and the night before going, I was in one of those stingy moods whilst perusing the alcohol aisle of Asda and I decided, as it was a few quid cheaper than Absolut, to get some suspect vodka brand which I've never heard of.  Unfortunately the £3 I saved, paid me back with a vengeance and I spent the second half of the night nursing the toilet bowl and experiencing that manic head spinning pain only paint stripper could do to you.

The purpose of giving you this delightful visual is that when I woke up on Saturday (which does imply I slept, more like a fitful doze in a bed with 4 other people in it), I struggled to generate the required energy of meeting my friends whom I hadn't seen in ages, which also came with the faint threat of frequenting a pub somewhere to catch the rugby (certainly not MY suggestion) and also the fact that I was meeting my best friend for cocktails and dinner which would also involve more cocktails.  I'd like to say I manned up, my friends might as well have met a corpse.

Dinner was booked at Chino Latino (, 18 Albert Embankment, SE1 7TJ) but we went to Queen of Hoxton (, 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX) first for drinks in a wigwam.  For those who are not familiar with the oddities of Shoreditch, yes you read right, a wigwam in London.  On a rooftop for that matter (you could hardly have expected it to be inside, now THAT would be strange).

Cocktails at Chino Latino Vauxhall
Cocktails at Chino Latino Vauxhall

Despite going on about the place for ages, I hadn't actually sorted anything out and the thing about this wigwam is that ain't there forever.  In fact it was only around until the end of the month.  Therefore we made the somewhat ludicrous trip to Shoreditch before Vauxhall to see it before it was dismantled.  The things I do for a novelty bar.

Technically I shouldn't even be writing about Queen of Hoxton in this entry because I didn't have any cocktails.  What I did have was a warm cider.  After climbing up what seemed like 20 flights of stairs (it didn't occur to me that a rooftop bar did come with the risk of exercise), we were told that the bar only served hot alcoholic drinks in the wigwam and cocktails were downstairs (all 20 flights down).  However despite being served in a beer mug (see?  I don't even know the beer lingo.  Tankard?) it was quite cute and it was quite tasty considering that it was pretty chilly.

Anyway, onto Chino Latino.  It's a restaurant in the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel.  I've been once for a birthday dinner and the food was lovely.  I don't usually buy dinner deals on LivingSocial but this was a deal for 4 courses with a cocktail at a good price so I thought it was worth going again.

Cocktails at Chino Latino Vauxhall

The first cocktail I had was the one that came with the deal.  Despite it's pretty exterior in a martini glass with the fruit, it was pretty bad.  When I asked the waitress what it was, she had no clue what it was called and no clue what was in it for that matter.  "It's got liqueur" - er, right - "and some fruit juices", even more informative.  It's not that I expect every cocktail to be shaken but having now had a few in my life, I'm getting used to a well made cocktail and this tasted like an assembled drink.  There is a difference.

Cocktails at Chino Latino Vauxhall

Despite the raging hangover and an overwhelming desire to curl up and die, I simply couldn't just have this one sub-standard one so had to order another one to make up for it.  This was called a Chino Signature which has x-centrique (a fusion liqueur of French Vodka, blood orange, mango & passion fruit juices), lychee, lime juice and pomegranate juice.  Sounds gorgeous.  Was gorgeous.  With every sip I was debating whether this would beat my all time favourite lychee and rose petal-tini I had at Carom.  The sheer act of doing the comparison suggests it was very good indeed.  I concluded it wasn't as special but I would definitely have it again.

I'm not even going to start talking about the food as I'll be here all night.  It was actually pretty incredible and considering that some places can be quite snotty about Groupon type vouchers, the service was excellent.  It was tasty and well presented and I couldn't fault this place really.  Definitely check it out and maybe not be tight like me and just pay full price - it's worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment