May 11, 2018
The buzzword at the Hotel Albatross is “exotic drinks,” not ‘”tiki” – that’s a word Zach Harjo – the dude behind Ballard’s popular Ocho – has chosen not to use. You’ll find some tiki classics on the drinks menu, alongside new creations like the Death’s Hammer, a potent blend of rum, lime, and sugar, with fresh nutmeg served in a ceramic skull-shaped mug, but the décor and the vibe are not what most people would expect from a tiki bar. The atmosphere is more chic than kitsch and the drinks will be complex things, rather than fruity and over-sweet. There’s a further bar area in front and a lovely large patio area for al fresco sipping. The globally roaming food menu is similarly big on flavour – including Vietnamese wok-fried frog legs, Thai khao soi, and Korean beef bulgogi skewers. There’s some real skill in the kitchen even if the eclectic approach means some dishes are more successful than others. The roasted pork belly pinch bun, topped with Kewpie mayonnaise, pickled jalapeños, and pickled daikon are a delight, but some of their Korean inspired dishes are a bit baffling. If you get the late night munchies, there’s a takeout window, serving Sexy Alley Puffy Tacos and other street food treats. The puffy tacos with carnitas sound all kinds of awesome and they also serve tamales and fried corn with Sriracha mayo.