Cocktails from South America
After watching Jon Favreau in Chef making cheese ooze in Cubanos, we’ve been dreaming of biting into it. So when we realised that Vasco is serving up flavours from Latin America – and they had those subs on the menu – we had high hopes.
Jointly opened by Joel Fraser (founder of The Cufflink Club), Andrew Walsh (ex-executive chef of Esquina), and Christian Hartmann (former right-hand man at The Cufflink Club), Vasco is an amalgamation of their experiences. From Fraser comes cocktails made with tropical spirits like rum, tequila, mezcal, cachaca and pisco. Like The Old Man and the Sea ($22), which blends white rum, maraschino, grapefruit and a hit of salt for a light and balanced drink. There are also rare Piscos like Portón, which comes from the oldest distillery in the Americas.
One mark of a good bartender is an exceptional Negroni. And Vasco’s take on the Italian quaff, the Mexico 70 ($23), has mezcal instead of gin and a hint of chocolate bitters to give it oomph.
Walsh’s concise menu relies on crowd-pleasing favourites. Empanadas ($12/three) burst at the seams with spinach, cheese and corn milk; ceviches see cubes of tuna enlivened with Leche de Tigre, oranges and red onions ($21); and the Argentinean rib-eye steak ($39) is dialled up with chimichurri verde and salsa criolla. The chicken pinchos ($23) – our favourites – are perfectly charred skewers of chicken pieces coated with chipotle, lemon, and chopped pecans. The Cuban subs, while not as life-changing as Favreau’s, are decent enough. Crusty bread encases mojo-marinated roast pork, broiled ham, pickled dill, and hot, melting cheese – we would be happy campers had they increased the meat-to-bread ratio.
It’s still early days for Vasco. But if the initial crowd is anything to go by, it’s set to become the next hip venue for drinks and then some.
42 Hong Kong Street
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 6pm-1am|