An unlikely coupling of cocktails and curry
Cocktails being sold in a Pakistani restaurant are one thing, but some of the best cocktails in the city being shaken up in a Pakistani restaurant are quite another thing entirely.
It's something that speaks to the fusion between Pakistani and Irish cultures happening in Kinara Kitchen that made this happen. Also investment, the team enlisted the help of internationally award-winning and founder of The Blind Pig speakeasy Paul Lambert to establish Kinara Kitchen and its sister restaurants dotted around the city to craft the ever-evolving cocktail menus, Lambert has subsequently moved on with Andrei Petrescu taking the helm of the Ranelagh spot. With a glitzy rooftop opened during the Summer and now with plans afoot to revamp the front of the restaurant for better to enjoy cocktails in, there's some concrete investment in other areas too.
The team have also invested in the quick, nibbly bits that pair so well with a little bev, providing okra chips, pakoras and salty deep-fried menu items designed to be paired with some high abv. Breaking from the oft-used pairing of beer and curry, the team have instead doubled down on cocktails for pairing, and when you think about the location of Kinara, it makes sense, it's in one of the buzziest neighbourhood streets in town, well-serviced by excellent bars, this is a point of differentiation.
A hallmark of any good cocktail menu is that it regularly changes which Kinara's does on a near-quarterly basis. With a menu of classics that have been reworked and remoulded to add just the right amount of enticing spark while still being familiar. Petrescu has created a set-up that would rival any of the best cocktail bars in the city, going so far as to cut their ice from blocks to making essences and reductions in-house. This kind of independence can sometimes lead to the siloing of ingredients, but Petrescu is stretching across the country by using cutting-edge Irish spirits and ingredients.
Despite what a lot of people would like to lead you to believe, cocktails should be fun and should create a sense of spontaneity and occasion. These complex twists on the classics, mixed up with a variety of ingredients that would put Willy Wonka to shame, do just that, made even more special is the fact that it's happening in one of the more unlikely places in town.