CoCo pops and rocks

22 Aug

There’s a wizard in Miramar using his creative powers to transport you to astonishing new worlds. This wizard is one of the best in his game, and has won World Class recognition from his peers. Watching this man at work is to witness the birth of a blockbuster spectacle. I’m talking about, of course, bartender Ray Letoa from Coco at The Roxy.

Ray’s well known for his addictive enthusiasm and for creating outlandish drinks with a decent dose of the unorthodox. He’s particularly interested in using techniques employed by molecular gastronomy and applying them to cocktails. For his efforts, he’s garnered enough accolades to rival those other Miramar artistes down the road.

The aim of CoCo’s Capital Cocktail entry is to evoke feelings of nostalgia. Many of my fondest childhood memories are movie-related, and visiting majestic cinemas like The Roxy always feels like it’s my first-ever trip to the movies all over again. However, I can safely say my movie drinks and snacks back then were never this action-packed.

A lemongrass and pomegranate syrup provides the cocktail’s base. They can be quite stark flavours on their own, but here they’re balanced with lemon and lime juice. The mango foam – which smells and tastes divine – adds a touch of fizz and lightness, and conjures up memories of ice cream floats. A sprinkling of dried pomegranate seeds over the foam is the final special effect.

The foxy flavours of the drink are reflected in the matching tapas. A trip to the movies wouldn’t be complete without popcorn and something sweet, so CoCo have served up popcorn chicken with lemongrass and mango salsa, and a homemade lollipop. The popcorn chicken and salsa explode with flavour and will have you rushing back to the (candy) bar for more.

The lollipop is a pure sugar hit with pieces of dried mango and lemongrass-infused chrysanthemum flowers. It lasted for ages too, so it would probably get you through an entire Lord of the Rings film.

The Miramar Fizzy Pop was designed to be easily made as a mocktail too so that kids could get in on the fun. After all, this drink and its matching tapas are all about embracing childhood experiences and creating new ones. For me, this was a new cinema and cocktail experience that I won’t be forgetting in a rush.

Chris’ verdict: 9/10

CoCo at The Roxy, 5 Park Road, Miramar.
Miramar Fizzy Pop
Lemongrass and pomegranate syrup, gin, lime and lemon juice, bitters, and mango foam served with Island Bay Butchery free range popcorn chicken with lemongrass and mango salsa. 1.0 standard drink. $19.00.

Chris is tasked with the unenviable role of eating and drinking his way across Visa Wellington On a Plate, as 2015′s official Festival Blogger. Follow Chris on his culinary journey as he reviews Capital Cocktail creations and other Festival eats.