A little while back, I joined some of my favourite bloggy types at Aluna for Girls’ Night In. Being the sophisticated women we are, myself, Laura, Fay and Emma made a beeline for the bar to get the drinks in.
Aluna is a sleek space, with dark wood, twinkly lights and lots of cool framed things all over the walls. I grabbed myself a pink Prosecco and set off for wander around the bar and restaurant for a nose about. Aluna are big fans of alginate, a liquid that you drip into water and it creates little jelly like pearls (a little like tiny versions of the bubbles in bubble tea). The Prosecco had a healthy scoop of these bubbles in, which I have to confess rather spoilt it for me. Good Prosecco but the jelly bits make a horrible texture on the top like drinking frogspawn.
Frogspawn abandoned, it was time for a cocktail masterclass. I’ve done approximately a million masterclasses at events this year and have accepted my fate as one who cannot free pour or properly shake a cocktail without making a right mess, so I opted to watch. Our bartender talked us through the making of the Mangolian (£7.95). Mango fruit juices are sloshed liberally over chunks of dry ice, which immediately billow clouds of ‘smoke’ from the top of your glass. For me, this was far, far too sweet, tasting mostly like a J2O, but if you have a sweet tooth, this is a popular option.
More dry ice and alginate bubbles came along in the Lava Lamp (£7.95), which is another fruity concoction. The dry ice causes the bubbles to dance about in the glass, much like a, you guessed it, lava lamp. Again, far too sweet for my taste, but good fun.
Next, our barmen took to theatrics to show off some more of the menu. There were clouds of tumbling dry ice, there were infusions, there were flames. The Asian Infusion (£22 – designed for two people to share) and the Rum Punch (not listed on the website, so I can’t find the price, sorry) were fun to watch being made, but were, as before, a little sweet for my taste. More my speed was the Bush Fire (£8.95), which has a good slug of sloe gin. Bar flair is cool, but there does come a point where I just want a good, strong cocktail.
Happily, we were able to harass a barman into assisting us on our quest for a short, strong drink. After knocking back a shot of Tequila each with said barman, we were rewarded with a round of Margaritas and Sidecars. Simple, but classics for a reason.
Our next mission was befriending the restaurant manager. Aluna is owned by the same chaps who own the lovely Siamais, which I visited a while back and loved. Being the
greedy piglets dedicated food bloggers we are, we asked if we could get something more substantial than the few and far between canapés circulating to get our teeth into.
The menu is mainly Thai, which is one of my very favourite cuisines. A few taster plates appeared, including some delicious Massaman Curry. I’m actually heading back next week to try the food properly, so I’ll save in depth thoughts for then, but the tasters we had were very tasty and I’m looking forward to a proper try of the menu.
We had an enjoyable evening at Aluna and their staff are certainly enthusiastic, friendly and happy to oblige annoying requests from bloggers. The theatrics with the cocktails would be great fun for a girly night out (maybe a hen party?) but personally, I am more interested in quality cocktails than juggling of barware. The theatrical cocktails were too sweet for me, but when we asked for the classics, they were well made and well presented. I’m excited to go back and try the food!
I was a guest of Aluna and Delicious PR. Our food and drinks were complementary, but I was not obliged to write a blog post. All words, images and opinions are my own.