I’m not really one to re-visit places for special occasions. I feel as though I can sometimes exaggerate my memories, I’ll tell friends about an activity and then come to experience it again and wonder why on earth I rated it so highly. Thus I often like to try new things rather than revisit old ones, not succumbing to my built up expectation.
Last night was my sisters birthday (blog to come, I’m promised) and after a interesting debarcle in the middle of the night, my parents were moved hotels at 2am because theirs was overbooked. A phone call at 7am followed with a complete change of plans, which ended up with me cycling 5 miles around waterloo looking for a boris bike park but that’s another story.
I wanted to stay as far away from influencing plans as possible because I wanted my sister to have the best day possible. When I was told we were going to Chino Latino for a second year running. I’ll admit, I was slightly apprehensive because I thought it just couldn’t be as good as I remembered. I do enjoy being proven wrong….
Chino Latino is a pan asian fusion bar and restaurant. The bar draws more on the latin side and the cuisine is predominantly pan-asian. The atmosphere is sophisticated but dining is casual and there is an oriental ambience created by some impressive lighting.
We went straight to the bar which is besides the restaurant and ordered a round of cocktails. I opted for a laced with trace which included, buffalo trace, fresh passionfruit, lychees and ginger beer. It took around 10 minutes for the 5 cocktails to be made, but they were well worth it. I wish I had a photo to show you, I hope my description does it justice. It was served in a long cocktail class stuffed full of ice, that was a a brilliant white, as if it had ben chipped off a glacier in the artic circle moments before. It had a light orange tinge from the passionfruit juice and ginger beer and surprisingly had no fizz. It had black passion fruit seeds floating freely in between the ice and it was garnished with half a passion fruit. The cocktail was full of lychee pulp which gave the cocktail it’s plump texture.
One thing to note is that the lighting is low, without using a flash you’ll need a camera with a huge aperture to get any decent photos. My lens with f1.8 still didn’t cut it.
We then went into the restaurant for food.
The first thing that was on our mind was wine! We opted for a Chablis, Louis Jadot and a Merlot, J.Moreau et Fils. I’m not the biggest fan of white wine so I stuck with the red which was soft and the perfect combination for our tasting menu, Menzaifu. I can’t remember what wine we had last year but we did opt for the same tasting menu as before, lots of options and lots of tastes.
Sushi & Sashimi Salads
Crispy soft shell crab, California rolls
Marinated blowtorch salmon nigiri
Chicken sui mai
Whole baby chicken
Lobster and king crab
The starters were split into two, we had the Hamachi taquitos which were filled with an avocado cream and prawns at the base. This was followed by Crispy soft shell crab, California rolls and Marinated blowtorch salmon nigiri. The marinated blowtorch salmon was particularly delectable. The flavours were subtle, nothing was overpowering which I often find to be the problem with asian starters as I don’t have the highest tolerance to spice.
Next up were the small dishes, I liked to think of them as a secondary starter. My favourite was the prawn tempura which was one of the standout dishes from the menu. The beef salad had some very rare beef fillet in it which I loved but was surrounded by a slightly disappointing onion dominant salad. The chicken sui mai was chicken, foie gras and mushroom. Of all the dishes this was the least popular, I happened to like it but because it contained foie gras my other family members didn’t like it.
The mains were amazing, the monkfish tail was huge. We had enough duck to feed a small town and the lobster and king crab devine. The whole baby chicken was good but could have been better as there was no breast meat. The lobster was slightly on the small side but the quality couldn’t be faulted.
We ended up eating so much that desert was just not an option, however it was my sisters birthday so the staff at Chino Latino didn’t give us an option!
Before my sister knew what was happening a huge spread of fruits and ice-cream appeared on the table with a nice birthday message. So naturally we found that little extra space and hoovered up the spread before you could say, ‘i’ll have that one pl….’
Moral Of The Story
Revisiting places can be a great way to start traditions and also have an equally great experience and forge new unforgettable memories. I urge you to try it if you don’t already!
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