If the decor at Pisco Bar is anything to go by, Melbourne’s love for industrial chic has officially infected KL. Here, they’ve got the required quirky lightfittings by the bucketload, and those brick walls are so distressed you almost feel like handing them a tissue. There’s even what looks like a packing pallet on the ceiling – in Melbourne, we use them as tables and bench-style seating. Good to see KL turning that trend, quite literally, on its head.
In real-estate terms, proper industrial spaces are often zoned for mixed use, and with its odd mix of carefully crafted cocktails (for the ‘let’s have a drink’ set) and drinks giveaways (for the ‘let’s get loaded’ set) it feels like Pisco Bar is, too. If you don’t like raucous cheering with your cocktail (which happens whenever anyone wins a free drink), either go elsewhere, or join in.
Anyway. Speaking of well-crafted cocktails, the bartenders looked pleasantly surprised when we eschewed the drinks specials (which you must order if you want to try to win a free drink) and went straight to the pisco section of the cocktail menu instead. Having only ever used pisco in pisco sours, I was curious to see how else it could be used and ordered accordingly.
The ‘Spice’ cocktail (MYR34, pictured above left) contained, well, pisco, obviously, along with pandan syrup, lemon juice and just enough flavour from some kaffir lime leaves to give it a zesty note without smelling or tasting of dishwashing liquid (no, I have never actually drunk dishwashing liquid, but that’s what too much kaffir lime in a drink or dish reminds me of). Slightly sweet, slightly tart and with a great head of foam courtesy of dry-shaken egg whites, it was as delicate and well-balanced as the dried rosebud and fresh kaffir lime leaf that were placed atop the drink as an artful garnish. The ‘Cuzco’ (MYR34, pictured above right) was perhaps not as sophisticated, but still tasty. White wine and elderflower syrup added sweetness but also diluted the flavour of the pisco; this would be a great cocktail to give people who claim they don’t like pisco. And so, eyes open to the possibilities of pisco, we headed to the next bar – stay tuned for a review.