Last week I was invited to attend an event in Aluna; a plush canal-side bar and restaurant. I’d never been before and was excited to see what the venue was like. If I venture outside of the JQ, I tend to head towards The Mailbox and the surrounding canal areas, as I find them pretty in the evening, and there are plenty of options to choose from. I met a few lovely food bloggers there, and expected to try the odd sample of food, and perhaps sip elegantly on some fizz for a couple of hours. However, we felt it best to stay longer and ensure we had thoroughly tested the skills of the bar staff before leaving (*hiccup). When I say “we” I mean Laura, George, and Emma, who are terrible influences, but excellent human beings, and have adopted me into their booze and food-fuelled evenings, where there’s no judgement and the chats are uncensored. Lets just say that we fully embraced the title of the event, and I enjoyed every second.
Walking into the venue; I was impressed. I loved the abundance of velvet, plush seating, ornate walls, and chandeliers that adorned the space. It felt like somewhere to enjoy food and drinks over the festive season, and the location is great. There was a large bar with plenty of room to drink and chat, and the restaurant area was separated, and full of cosy booths, soft benches and dark wooden tables. You could go for an intimate meal, or take a group of friends for a special night out. This is the sort of place that you’d happily make the effort to paint your nails for, or wear a dark red lip; a lovely place worth dressing up for, but with plenty of fun and not in the least bit stuffy.
Now, we started with some fizz, which seemed a great way to start the evening. It did have some jelly-like balls, or beads if you will, in it; I found these both off-putting and intriguing. They added a little sweetness to the crisp drink, but I wasn’t sure about the texture at all. However, they kinda grew on me, in the sense that I still wanted the prosecco, so I soon finished my drink and headed towards the beautiful bar area.
After watching some of my fellow bloggers get a masterclass in cocktail shaking; it was time to sample a few. The girls were taught how to create a Mangolian; I found this too sweet for my taste. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs; you’ll know I’m wary of overtly sugary drinks, I guess that’s just the diabetes in me. We all craved something a little stronger, and what followed was a treat of bar skills and plenty of fire and dry ice. It was great, especially if you love, well, fire and dry ice (which I do by the way). The staff were accommodating; full of humour, friendly, and generous. I don’t have a picture, but I think the strength of the drinks changed with a shot of tequila and a cheer, and the tone was well and truly set for the rest of the night (*hicc…).
We all tried a Burning Bush; this sounds terribly painful, but I promise that it was a delicious cocktail that reminded me of a Bramble, but with whiskey? I think? Apologies, you might have to ask what goes into it, but I enjoyed it the most. The leaves were set alight, everyones eyelashes survived, and they didn’t last very long at all; yum. I liked that I could order off their cocktail menu; however, the bar staff were happy to create something they think you might like, and responded well to
bullying requests. We got all the fun and theatre of the creation process, but there was also substance to the less sweet versions of my drinks. I think. I can still remember my headache from the following morning. Sorry, I digress…
By now, my lazy eye was probably facing whatever was behind me and my hiccups would have increased even more. It was time to eat some food. Thank god for the food. No, really; praise the kitchen and the magic that left it. I started with a crispy vegetable roll, which was warm and salty, and had all the flavours and textures you’d want from a spring roll. That crispy little delight saved my soul and gave me the strength I needed to stop drinking for a while. Probably.
Next, I cheekily grabbed some of the chips that accompanied a chicken dish that the others were sampling. The fries were also crispy with a fluffy potato centre. I ate about 4 or 5 in total, as these were sample-sized dishes; however, I’d have happily devoured around 4 or 5 kilos. I love a chip. Next came a tofu stir fry; another gift from the kitchen. The veggies had plenty of bite left in them, and the sauce was warming and comforting, without being heavy or sweet. It was a light and fresh stir fry, with perfectly cooked rice, and I’ve never been more pleased to eat something.
I will be going back to Aluna to order a full-sized meal from their Asian / European fusion menu, because I was genuinely impressed with the food, and especially the level of service. The venue feels special enough for a treat, but super friendly too. I will make a considered choice on one or two cocktails next time so that the food is the focus. I’m putting this on my date night list, and will be back with a more detailed blog about the flavours and quality of the food. I felt like I got to know what Aluna are all about though, and I really enjoyed the Girl’s Night event, which is why I plan to return.
Peace, love, and a burning bush, Fay x
I was invited to Aluna’s Girls’ Night by Delicious PR and all food and drinks were complimentary. I was not obliged to write anything, but I had such a good time that evening; I wanted to document all those memories. I feel like I should say something about drinking responsibly, but then I’d be giving advice I don’t follow and nobody likes a know-it-all anyway.