Friday's treat was an evening at Chino Latino, the "modern Pan-Asian cuisine" restaurant and Latin bar in the Park Plaza. The last time we went was the launch of the Christmas menu, and the food was sufficiently impressive that we've been waiting for a good excuse to go back.
Joe and I traditionally indulge in a few cocktails for my birthday so the Latin bar seemed a good place to start. A little quiet for a Friday night, it did give us a chance to chat to the bar manager Rich. An excellent raspberry and mint margarita and chino lips (tequila with lime, chilli and sugar) were followed by a negroni and a slightly off-piste home creation which will never be recreated but was excellent. There was multiple vodkas, apple juice, lime and grenadine and sent me straight to a rooftop bar in the sunshine.
|Hmmm...a Yorkshire bar with only Cornish beer on tap.|
|Chino lips - tequila with a chilli kick|
|Raspberry and mint margarita|
|Joe enjoying his wine|
|Apparently he said something funny...!|
This was accompanied by tempura soft shelled crab and stuffed chillies which were beautiful. I have been a bit nervous of soft shelled crab (how can it be soft and survive in the sea?!) but I loved this. Tempura's always pretty good but tempura soft shelled crab was a revelation.
Trying to compete with these dishes was pork, crab and glass noodle samosas with a green pepper yogurt dipping sauce. I loved the samosas - classic Chinese sui mai flavours in flaky pastry. The yogurt dip didn't marry with the clean flavours of the rest of the dishes, but that was a small grumble in a round of impressive food.
|Tempura soft shelled crab|
|Pork, crab and glass noodle samosas|
The seabass and crayfish dumplings were the perfect balance of yeilding pastry and a delicate fish filling. Perhaps my only disappointment was the beef fillet salad, which Joe loved. Seared beef and crunchy salad in a coriander, mint and yogurt dressing, again I thought it didn't work with the other delicate flavours, but I think that was just me!
|Blow torch salmon|
|Seared beef salad|
|Crayfish and seabass dumplings|
Thanos also told us that they are remodelling the hotel from top to bottom, and there is a relaunch day on 19th July. He is looking to improve the downstairs bar and iron out the glitches which are holding it back from being as popular as it used to be. If they can sort out those bits, then I'm sure we'll go back when we've got some spare cash to splash.