CASA PON­CHO

Mex­ico, mescal and more

Herworld (Singapore) - - FEATURE - www.cas­apon­cho.com

THE DRINKS

At last, a Mex­i­can res­tau­rant and bar that has the theme down pat. Trans­form­ing a Bukit Pa­soh Road shop­house (once home to the Keow Siong Club) into a vi­brant space with vivid colours, skulls, masks and mu­rals, Casa Pon­cho (by the team be­hind 13% Gas­tro Wine) im­presses with its se­lec­tion of mescal, a dis­tilled al­co­holic bev­er­age made from an agave plant na­tive to Mex­ico. Mescal is its favoured spirit, as it has a more var­ied and nu­anced pro­file than tequila. Cock­tails fea­ture 45ml pours, and the tart yuzu-laced Mez­cal Mar­garita ($20) goes down eas­ily while still de­liv­er­ing a punch. The Gre­go­rio Negrito, or Mez­cal Re­posado (aged up to nine months), and bit­ters like An­tica For­mula and Cam­pari come in a skull-shaped glass and have an enjoyable bit­ter fin­ish with sweet un­der­tones. Most cock­tails fea­ture the Ma­chetazo brand of mescal that the own­ers im­port di­rectly (from Guer­rero, San Luis Po­tosi and Oax­aca in Mex­ico). It’s brewed, aged and dis­tilled from wild-grown agave, us­ing tra­di­tional meth­ods. You’re en­cour­aged to sip it straight or have a shot.

THE FOOD

A com­pre­hen­sive menu of Latin Amer­i­can shar­ing plates (or pe­quen­i­tos) awaits you. The Gua­cam…Ole! ($12) offers a great con­trast of flavours and tex­tures with its pomegranate and fried onions, while the breaded fried olives ($5) are an in­sanely ad­dic­tive ac­com­pa­ni­ment to the drinks.

The chipo­tle salsa sauce is one of three in-house sauces. For a spicier kick, go for the smoky ha­banero salsa.

The Marca Pina ($20) uses pineap­ple­in­fused mescal for a trop­i­cal flavour.

La Mar­garita del Pon­cho is a smok­ier twist on the tra­di­tional mar­garita. It goes well with deep­fried dishes.

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