Ending the night with one of my favourite cocktail bars, Notturno. It’s been a while since my last visit, yet nothing has changed, H is still bantering and shaking things up behind the bar with William hustle and bustling with the kitchen.
Notturno being our third stop, we were determined to just stick with the drinks. I always enjoy sitting at the bar, you get to see the staffs interaction with patrons and how they work, also start up conversations with strangers around you.
I requested H to make something out of Gin once again, it was sweet and tangy with a thin layer of froth on top, I didn’t get a chance to ask what exactly was in it since he seemed to be too busy. Similar to a Gin Sour, with a little bit more sweetness, maybe honey or a simple syrup was added.
Felice – Grappa, lemon peel & coffee bean essence, Cinzano Rosso vermouth, red wine reduction, white truffle syrup, Aphrodite bitters
“The Fel-ee-chay”, one of Notturnos house drinks that they keep with every rotating menu. It was relatively strong with the flavours of Grappa, yet was smooth to drink. I didn’t quite get the white truffle syrup, but nonetheless RC enjoyed it.
Salt Cod, shredded potato, garlic, onions, egg, parsley
With the couple next to us noming away, I couldn’t resist the aromas that were coming over from the kitchen. The Salt Cod was pan fried lightly with the ingredients, but the parsley had been missed, and served with a few slices of bread. Topped with coarse sea salt and a drizzle of EVOO, it as a really filling dish with it being carb on carbs. It was creamy and full of umami, the freshness of the cod really came through. Though the bread ran out pretty soon, it was not overly salty that it could not be enjoyed on its own.
The Feature Pasta of the night was spaghetti with shallots and butter, topped with a single crab cake. The couple beside us ordered not one to share, but two, so it had to be good. RC was just feeling munchy, and could not have possibly finished the pasta, so he asked if he could just get the Crab Cake instead. Grilled with a panini press, it was placed warm ontop of a simple arugula salad, a dollop of mayo, and a few drops of EVOO and balsamic vinegar. The Crab Cake had no filler, all you can taste and see is crab, it was seasoned lightly allowing the crab to shine itself. It was amazing and super fresh, and we were only charged $9 after checking the bill, where most places would charge at least $12 for one that was chock-full of potato and stuffers. What a steal!
One more round of drinks, to finish off the food and end off the night. I ordered another concoction with Gin, this time it was sweet and light. On top of fresh ground pepper, which I found interestingly weird, but worked. There is a distinct taste of honey in this one, and with the froth being so thick, one can only assume it to be egg whites.
RC saw a bottle of Nikka, a Japanese Whisky, in the corner of his eye and asked if H can make something out of it. H had informed us that it will be about $15-$20, due to the fact that Nikka was a pricey drink. Intrigued by what H can do to highlight the Whisky, RC said it was okay, and H went and did his magic. The aromas of the Whisky was still present, and didn’t feel diluted whatsoever, it had a nice smooth roundness to it. Confusing, yes, but both of us enjoyed it very much.
A good way to finish off any night, we were able to have a quick chat with William before we left, as we heard him talking bout Notturno closing with the couple next to us. Turns out the lease for Notturno was expiring at the end of April, coincidently H will also be leaving for Toronoto to test their waters. They will be open until then to clear off all and any stock, and close Notturno’s doors for good. I had been in love with Notturno since the beginning from when they first opened as a wine/panini bar, to the change in concept to a cocktail/tapas bar, I expressed how sad I was to see them go. William cheerfully let me know that though Notturno will no longer be here, a Japanese concept will take its place. Providing fresh ingredients and an ever changing menu, with him still in charge.
Though Notturno will be missed, RC and I are both excited to see the new concept when we step through those doors again in June.