Cocktail bar ticks the boxes

Last updated 13:46 08/02/2013
Poquito bar
Cocktail heaven: The new Poquito bar in Tory St.

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Ladies of Wellington. There's a new cocktail bar in town. And what a bar it is, too.

REVIEW: Poquito in Tory St opened in December, where Schoc Chocolate and then Ciocco Chocolaterie used to be, just up the road from Joe's Garage.

During the day it is an espresso cafe serving Caffe L'affare coffee. It has a light brunch menu and cabinet food. At night it becomes a cocktail and tapas bar.

We headed there on a Friday night and were welcomed by the friendly owner, Mike Hay, previously from Caffe L'affare, and bar manager Pete Race, stolen from Matterhorn and Mighty Mighty.

The bar has a warm and relaxing feel. I like the exposed brick wall and the huge old window looking out on to a little green native garden.

It feels like one of those places you take visitors to in the city and tell them it's a "best-kept secret".

All the cocktails are original.

Mr Hay said Poquito infused its own spirits, including pineapple- infused tequila, rhubarb-infused vodka and fig-infused whiskey.

We had the Sailor Storm ($13), rum, ginger beer, bitters, lime and mint; Rhubarb 75 ($15), rhubarb- infused vodka, cava, lemon and vanilla syrup; AR Caiparinha ($15), cachaca, raspberries, apple juice, lime and brown sugar; and Rumbie ($14) 3-year-old and 7-year-old rum, fresh pineapple juice, mango nectar and lemon juice.

All were fantastic, if quite strong. If you don't like strong alcoholic cocktails then just let the team know and they will adjust the strength or use a bigger glass.

The tapas menu (six options) is refreshingly original.

There is the obligatory bread and dips ($11), which is served with garlic hummus, beetroot and walnut hummus, and white bean and mint puree.

The generous amount of flat bread is seasoned with paprika. We were told that if we ran out of bread just to ask for some more, which was a nice offer.

We also had the grilled bruschetta with broccoli, feta and almonds ($14). My only complaint was that I would have preferred the broccoli warmed.

The Devils on Horseback (dates wrapped in bacon, $12) were the highlight for me. The bacon was crispy and the dates melted in your mouth. I could have happily eaten two portions.

Overall, Poquito ticks all the boxes for me and I will be back to try more of the menu, especially the anchovy, olive and cheese Poquito bites. Four cocktails and tapas came to $94.

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- The Wellingtonian


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