By The Gentleman
After surviving the latest round of exams and end of semester craziness that turned The Lady and I into hermits we finally got the opportunity to go Out & About again for birthday drinks at swanky Gouger Street location Loft Oyster & Wine Bar. We may not like oysters but we do enjoy wine and cocktails, which the Loft has plenty of.
Gouger Street is one of Adelaide’s main food locations, filled with many great restaurants and access to the city’s Chinatown and the Central Markets, which houses great local South Australian produce. If someone says lets go to Gouger Street for dinner then chances are you’re going to be in for a good time. While The Lady and I have eaten up and down the street it’s not necessarily where we would go for drinks so discovering The Loft Oyster & Wine Bar was a bit of a godsend as now we can pair a great night of food with some equally good drinks without having to go too far. Yeah, we’re lazy and we know it.
The Loft is a massive upstairs venue with super high ceilings. I love Adelaide’s new found love of small bars, many of my favourite venues are small bars, but there is something refreshing about being able to walk into a venue on a Saturday night and not be crammed against the wall. The Loft mixes old school service, hello table service, with some new school style. There are funky light fixtures, gorgeous design work on those high ceilings and a fully stocked bar. Some of the design choices aren’t my thing, like the glass wall that is made to look like a bookcase and the deer heads, but overall it’s a nice place to relax with friends and celebrate a birthday. It’s also the sort of place The Lady and I swoon over, imagining what we could do with the space to turn it into a loft apartment. Watch out Loft Wine Bar, when we earn our millions we’ll be back.
Perusing the cocktail list The Loft had a mix of classics and experimental signature cocktails. I tried one cocktail from each while The Lady had a glass of red wine. The first cocktail I had was the Coffee Experiment from the signature menu. I’m all for coffee cocktails. It had a vanilla flavoured liquor paired with Vietnamese cold-brew coffee and a spiced condensed milk. So effectively it was an alcoholic Vietnamese coffee. Whatever the vanilla liquor was it was quite strong, both in terms of its alcohol kick and its vanilla flavour. There wasn’t a really strong coffee flavour which was a bit surprising. I also didn’t really pick up on any of the spices in the condensed milk so I’m not sure what it was paired with. Don’t get me wrong this was very drinkable and the vanilla flavour was quite pleasant, giving a very smooth mouth feel, but I just expected a few extra notes.
The second cocktail I had was the El Diablo from the classic menu. It had housemade ginger beer syrup, a housemade chilli cassis, reposado tequila, lime and soda. This was a super flavourful cocktail that was definitely up my alley. The mixture of the tequila, ginger beer syrup and chilli cassis gave the drink a mighty kick. Not too overpowering but instead a really enjoyable heat with a touch of spiciness from the ginger. It reminded me more of a Moscow Mule than what a classic El Diablo may taste like because the blackcurrant flavour wasn’t that noticeable. Instead that ginger beer syrup is the real star. On the topic of the ginger beer syrup I appreciated the fact that they make their own. I’ve also made my own ginger beer syrup and I can tell you the flavour is so much fresher and more intense than any store bought ginger beer, even a good quality one like Bundaberg. I also really liked the way they garnished it with half a lime just nestled on the top of the drink. Normally you just get a little wedge of lime but this was a big bit of lime which was really necessary to compete with all the other big flavours in the drink. This is definitely something I could order all night and be very happy with.
The Loft is a great addition to Gouger Street. A nice big venue to enjoy some good cocktails. The Loft does food other than oysters so maybe next time The Lady and I will have to try some of what they have to offer but for now we are quite happy just exploring their cocktails and drinks list while imagining how cool it would be to live in this location. A guy and a girl can dream.