Another weekend, another cocktail bar, such is the life of the King Street Questers. We hadn’t included Kuleto’s in our calculations until last weekend, when as we poured ourselves out of Corridor, we noticed a photocopied piece of paper in the window of Kuleto’s that was headlined FOOD. So here we are on Friday night at the start of Happy Hour-and-a-Half, sitting near the door, perusing the two-for-one cocktail offerings. The rather uninspiring list makes me nostalgic for the long lost Jester Seeds once again – it is heavy on the white spirits and fruit syrups. We opt for a pair of Long Island Iced Teas to start with, which turn out to be good, but unfortunately they are the high point for the eventing. The FOOD on offer turns out to be either hot-dogs or tasting plates. Strop manages to talk me out of a Texan Hot Dog by doing her only-speaking-in-questions-thing until she gets the Right Answer, and we order a smoked salmon and a salami tasting plate.
Happy Hour is working well, sucking punters in off the street by the taxi load despite the awful 90s music. They are predominantly young women with a smattering of young men, who know when they are onto a good thing, in tow. The hysteria level start out mild, but rapidly increases in volume and intensity as everyone rushes to have their inhibitions hammered out of shape for the start of the weekend.
A young woman at the next table has a laugh that could kickstart an ElectraGlide.
The staff behind the bar is kept busy by the throng, especially the dangerous-looking Lara Croft impersonator, who is dressed in black, with a utility belt full of cocktail-making essentials, and has an enormous bottle opener strapped to her forearm. This woman means business.
We decide to go with the flow and move on to another cocktail. This time a Thai Iced Tea which comes with lychee liqueur and is a bit sweet for my taste until I hit the pure vodka layer at the bottom.
The FOOD turns out to be underwhelming. $10 buys you six small water crackers with nori, smoked salmon and some of those black seed things that come on lebanese bread. There is more lime than smoked salmon on the well-used chopping board that it is presented on. The salami board is a bit better with about half a french bread stick sliced up, some gherkin and three types of salami.
We decide to stick around and see what happens when Happy Hour ends, which will of course require another cocktail to occupy us. This time we go for Hawaiian Splice which is pretty much what you would expect except for the melon liqueur lurking at the bottom. I really must remember to mix these things up before I start to suck on the straw. Or better yet just stick to whisky.
The end of happy hour is marked by a barman going around all the tables confiscating the two-for-one cocktail menus. Soon after groups of sozzled young people start stumbling out onto the street looking for the next piece in their weekend puzzle. We lick out the last sticky remains in our glasses and stumble out after them, looking for something to eat. Luckily we are just next door to Istanbul On King where they serve food rather than FOOD.