Talk about an experience! While Vegan-uary is in full swing and others are slurping back their kale slushies and chewing on heads of cabbage, I was taking on a much more pleasant type of January challenge. Gin-uary at Chino Latinos! I must say I prefer this restaurant & bar’s approach to January. It’s so much more fun!

Last Wednesday Rúni and I were invited to their Ginuary gin tasting and dinner in the dark to celebrate their new Asian pickled menu and the lumiere lights festival going on in London this month. Now, I’m a gin & tonic girl but I am no gin connoisseur, so I was pretty excited to widen my gin knowledge. As for the notion of dining in the dark, I like it! The thought of letting my olfactory and gustatory senses take over was exhilarating and I was looking forward to being surprised by the dishes and brought my night vision camera along for the ride.

Chino Latino is…one word, GORGEOUS! As we entered the bar & restaurant, beautifully lit lanterns and tea lights greeted us at every turn. The large centre bar and live music paired specially with the blends of gins that were on offer really made me feel like I was in a downtown Manhattan rooftop bar.

Upon being seated, we were presented with a range of four starter cocktails showcasing their stars of the night, Warner Edwards, Monkeys 47 and Plymouth Navy.   

Mixologists at Chino Latino created a variety of sweet and savoury cocktails, each with premium blend gin carefully selected for their rich infusions, aromatics and of course taste! If you’re feeling rather bold you could try the gins neat. Rúni and I were up to the challenge and I have to say the Monkey 47 was by far my favourite.  Guess what the 47 stands for…yep 47% proof! So it was a very strong gin but surprisingly aromatic and fruity with a subtle warmth that hits the chest. Most of the gins were made locally with Monkey 47 being the only invader hailing from Germany. I learnt that gin is predominantly made from Juniper berries but you can make Gin out of almost any fruit/veg the Warner Edwards gin in my cocktail was made from rhubarb, a vegetable I have a new found respect for and only like in it’s gin form!

The new 5 course Asian pickled menu paired well with a classic G&T or for the more traditional, red wine- which Rúni had. The Rib Eye Bulgogi and pickled Eryngi mushrooms were just delicious and beautifully presented. But I must say what stunned me the most was the desert and it’s extraordinary presentation. It looked so beautiful I didn’t even want to dive into it. Well …just see for yourself. Kudos to the culinary artist who created this dish!

I have to say Ginuary was a blast and an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a great way for us to unwind after a long day in the office and just catch up on some ‘us’ time while enjoying great atmosphere, drinks and amazing food. If you are looking for something to do this week I would recommend the Ginuary experience at Chino Latino. The event is on from now until the 5th of February so there is still plenty of time to catch it and at only £37 per person it’s a treat you wouldn’t want to miss.

You can watch my date night vlog here