I've been going to Pegu Club, a hi-end cocktail lounge based on a British Colonial Officers' Club by the same name in Burma in the late 1800's, for years since it opened. It's not one of my favorite bars, but I go because their cocktails are always stellar; regardless of the fact that I find the Asian-inspired waitress uniforms tacky and cliché, and on at least one occasion had an encounter with a bartender too cocky for his own good. After all these years though, I've yet to try anything from their food menu. Perhaps I was missing something. So this weekend I decided to order some food along with my cocktails.
I started off with the Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs ($9). Deviled eggs are a throwback trend at the moment, but these were different because the yolks were whipped with hickory-smoked rainbow-trout and curry mayonnaise; imagine smoked fish by way of India. The curry was especially nice in that it complemented the smokiness of the trout, but also added a piquant kick. And to counter the overall savoriness of the dish, a sweet marmalade-drenched almond sliver adorned each delicate yellow mound. It was simply delicious.
To pair with the deviled eggs, I ordered the Fifty-Fifty ($13), a gin martini made with equal parts vermouth, gin, and Regan's Orange Bitters. The wet martini was clean, refreshing, and strong; a perfect accompaniment to the flavorful eggs.
I then moved on to the Chicken Lollipops ($13), fried battered confit chicken drumettes in scotch syrup topped with pear compote. The chicken was fried crisp and remained so underneath the sticky fruit compote and scotch syrup, but the meat was overcooked and dry; strange, considering the chicken was supposedly confited. One order comes with four drumettes, but I could only bring myself to eat three. The last drumette I picked off the sweet outer shell and left the meat behind. It was a pricey disappointment.
However, the Tantris Sidecar ($13) I ordered to drink with the lollipops was good, as are all the drinks at Pegu Club I've discovered. The cocktail -- made with pineapple juice, lemon juice, calvados, cognac, chartreuse, and Cointreau -- didn't have any Tantric effects, but it was sweet and fruity yet packed a considerable punch.
It's good to know after all these years that if I ever do need a little snack with my cocktail at Pegu Club, the deviled eggs will be waiting for me. But if I'm needing more sustenance beyond eggs and alcohol, I'll be going elsewhere. Although seductive, Pegu Club, like the devil, doesn't have that strong of a hold over me.
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