Did you ever have trouble looking for a place for happy hour after work? A place with an extensive selection of beer and cocktail, as well as delicious food? I recently went to a newly opened retro-themed bar on Davie Street, The GPO Bar + Kitchen. It was opened about 2 weeks ago, and it is bright and has an open environment, encouraging interactions among all people visiting the bar. Visiting on a Thursday evening, it is pretty packed, and the place is filled with laughters and chatters. If I was not been told, I would think that this bar has been opened for awhile already. And behind such successful launch, it is supported by Silver Chef, who provides funding and equipment aid to the bar.
While we are waiting for our cocktails, we had a chance to talk to the President of Silver Chef Canada, Robert Phelps, he gives me an overview on how they support business and owners globally. And I think this information should be shared to more people who are planning to open a business in Canada.
Who is Silver Chef?
Silver Chef is an equipment funding partner, who encourages owners to focus their money for better things, such as investing or growing their business. With the Rent-Try-Buy solution, owners can rent their preferred equipment for the first 12 months. At the end of contract, owners have the option to continue to rent at a discounted price or own it. I think this business concept is great, because a lot of time can be saved by searching for discounts or worrying about the insufficient cash flow after purchasing the equipments.
Back to the Food Talk…
The GPO Bar + Kitchen showcases a variety of Irish dishes, and it is my first time to try them. It has a semi-open kitchen, with a wooden bar that allows customers to interact with the bartender. At the bar, there is a rotational local craft beer, as well as Irish whiskey. Eva and I decided to try the cocktails, designed by the owner, Kieran. Eva got the Elderflower Collins, and I tried The Delores, and they are both visually appealing.
Elderflower Collins tastes fruity and floral. It uses Tanqueray Malacca Gin and St. Germain Elderflower. Lime and soda make it sweet and easy to drink. It is highly recommended for people who wants cocktail that does not taste like alcohol.
The Delores, conversely, is slightly stronger. It is a rum-based cocktail. It uses Morgans White, Absinthe, and Dark & Spiced Rums, paired with pineapple, orange, and cranberry. It definitely tastes harsher, but the fruitiness remains.
We also tried few items on the menu. For appetizers, we tried the Homemade Panko Chicken Goujon and the Battered Basket. The chicken stripes are crispy and fresh. Chicken is juicy and tender. I love the addition of salad, with a light dressing.
Battered Basket includes a variety of deep-fried items – garlic mushrooms, onion rings, sausages, and burger. It comes with two sizes, and we order the small one. The beer batter is housemade, and we both enjoy the Garlic Mushrooms. They are lightly crisped, and the garlic flavour and juice ooze out when you bite into it. They also offer this item as a separate appetizer, so I recommend to get them! The mini battered burger (beef patty) is quite juicy, but I think the batter on both the burger and sausage is on a thicker and saltier side.
For entrees, we chose the Chicken & Chorizo Penne and Irish Beef Stew. I enjoyed the pasta. The chicken again is tender and juicy, but I think the penne can be cooked for slightly longer. It is a simple dish, but delicious. The only downside is it is quite salty and heavy-flavored. With the chorizo, I believe additional salt is not needed in the dish.
Irish Beef Stew is served with soda bread, made in house freshly everyday. Soda bread is denser and more doughy, compared to normal bread. According to Kieran, soda bread is a common food in Ireland, and it is more filling due to its dense texture. The beef stew is salty, and the beef is not as tender as I expected. If it weren’t that salty, it would be a good meal with a glass of ice cold beer.
Another thing that is worth to mention is the bar offers adult coloring pages at the back of the menus, which makes the meal funner, with more interactions. It may sound like an activity for kids, but it is surprising to see how customers put down their phones and enjoy colouring the menu.
I rarely go to bar, but The GPO Kitchen + Bar might be the one that I would return for cocktails. They also have extended happy hour from 3 pm to 7 pm, Sunday to Thursday. Compared to other cuisine I’ve tried, Irish dishes are definitely on a saltier side. Minus the salt, the dishes would be delightful and reasonably priced. More importantly, I really enjoy the vibe here. It is bright and clean, with an open-space concept. The owner and servers are friendly, and I believe it is going to be a popular bar on the street.
Taste : 3.5/5 • Service: 5/5 • Ambiance: 4.5/5 • Quality-Price: 4/5
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|Disclosure: Media Event (sponsored by Silver Chef Canada)|