Once in a while JoJo and Lili feel the need to hit up a cocktail bar. You know, just to unwind, let off a bit of steam - something a girl sometimes needs after a hard day. Shy of a bubble bath, chocolate and some profoundly fluffy domesticated animal, of course.
Tres sits comfortably along the ever popular Bridge Road with all of it's other trendy foodie-haven neighbours. It is best known for it's creative cocktails and the affordable Mexican dishes that compliment them.
Tres is a quiet little nook in the late afternoon of a weekday, so it's desirable for those who want to have a couple of drinks and a great conversation with a bestie, a work group or a new friend. The exposed walls and dimmed lighting make for an ideal and hushed spot away from the busyness that flows along the high street outside.
This wasn't a planned visit by any means, but it was certainly on our list of places to visit. Jo called her friend whilst on the way to see if she was interested in a drink or two, and when her question was met with a overenthusiastic 'YAS', she knew they were in for a good time.
As the first one to get there, JoJo took the liberty to carefully examine the contents of the cocktail menu. So many delicious drinks, such limited funds. What to do? Start with a drink and let worry happen later. Obviously.
JoJo picked up That Drink, a mild-spiced, sweet scented concoction of Wyborowa Vodka, Licor 43, muddled strawberry, lime and a vanilla sugar rim for $17.
It was well balanced with the aromatic sours cutting into the sweetness of strawberries and citrus. Just the right amount of acidity to brighten up this pretty little drink.
When LiLi finally arrived, she furiously eyeballed JoJo's brightly coloured drink, deciding that she needed one too. Looking at the menu, it was the easiest decision she's ever been asked to make. Well, definitely easier than picking out what to wear in the mornings.
Jerry's Gingerbread was the fan favourite, crowd pleasing, love of our lives from the moment it flowed onto our tongues.
A shaken mixture of Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum, gingerbread syrup, lemon and an egg white froth for $17 is a treat that we struggle to find anything wrong with at all. There isn't much you could dislike about this drink, it's a pleasant sweet-spiced drink, reminiscent of gingerbread with a great play of textures with that added egg white froth.
Jerry's Gingerbread will literally warm the cockles of your heart, especially during the winter months. It's smooth, velvety full-bodied ingredients gives this short glass a certain toasty comfyness that will leave you feeling flushed, fuzzy and very happy indeed.
We clearly weren't going to stop at just those two drinks so, with that in mind, we decided that it would probably be a good idea to pace ourselves and get some food in our bellies, so here's what we ordered:
Pork Tacos ($6)
Pork Mexican cola braised pork shoulder, grilled pineapple, crackling, coriander, chipotle cream.
Ceviche Tostaditas ($11)
Seafood ceviche, jalapeños, corn, coriander, lime, grapefruit, mandarin on tortilla chips with guacamole.
Beef Nachos ($15)
House made white corn chips, beef chilli, cheese sauce, jalapeños, salsa, sour cream.
A Mexican fiesta if we ever saw one.
Li's eyes lit up as soon as she took her first mouthful of Nacho goodness. We don't really need to describe these Beef Nachos to our lovely readers, but what the hell, we gon' do it anyway.
This was a delicious mess of fresh spring onions, corn, tomato, coriander, wonderfully seasoned ground beef and gooey, stringy cheese.
The house made corn chips were crisp - the perfect vessel to cart a heaping pile of nacho goodness into your pie-hole. The difference between processed corn chips and house made chips are staggering.
Definitely not your average dorito chips and jarred salsa meal!
Jo absolutely adores ceviche. Seafood in general, raw or cooked, will usually take residence on Jo's plate in favour other proteins.
She enjoys the freshness, natural sweetness and playful textures that a lot of these sea faring creatures offer, and when combined with other flavour enhancing basics, they become undeniably more attractive to her.
The Ceviche Tostaditas were simple: a quick medley of prawn and slivers of white fish, guacamole, jalapeños for a touch of heat and a happy mixture of tomatoes, onion, grapefruit and mandarin.
This is every bit as fresh and as flavoursome as it looks - the citrus and coriander help brighten and pep up the seafood, whilst the vegetables were pressed, like jewels, onto the guac that binds each bite-sized piece together.
An incredibly satisfying and wholesome plateful of food.
Speaking of tasty... the Pork Tacos were that fricking delicious that Jo had to order two.
Was it the succulent, juicy, umptious cola braised pulled pork? Maybe it was the sweetness of the grilled pineapple that went so well with the crackling and chipotle cream combination. Whatever it was, it was so very addicting and when she's asked about the best taco shes's ever had, Jo lists Tres as one of the top three.
All the while we were eating, we were also sipping on more dranks, getting really rather jolly; we ended up with five more drinks between the two of us!
Here is the Rosita, an elegant cocktail consisting of Campari, Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth and Orange Bitters for $17. It's topped with an edible flower, which came as a pleasant surprise when it was set down on the table.
Flavours were focused on a sweeter, slightly tart citrus side. A gorgeous drink.
Li picked up a Red Sangria - Tres shiraz cabernet, dark rum, agave nectar, orange juice fresh fruits for $11.
Wine was never a go to drink for Li but everywhere she goes now, if Sangria is on the menu, then it's on like donkey kong. Fresh and boozy, the perfect drink for summer. The perfect drink for Li.
Here's a classic with a bit of a twist - it's a Hibiscus Mojito!
Jo took a break in between all the eye widening craft cocktails and went for one of her go-to drinks, the Mojito, an international favourite. Not a lot more we can say about this other than the fact that it was presented beautifully, with a pot of Hibiscus flavoured syrup.
To round off our evening, we ordered one more Jerry's Gingerbread (it was that good) and a Rick Hits Wall Street, a mixture of Hendrick's gin, St Germain, muddled cucumber, lemon, cloudy apple for $18.
It's a bit of a heavy hitter for those with more of a refined palette, but it's tart profile makes it that much more alluring for those who love a more grown up gin based drink.
Been wanting to visit Tres for some time and didn't know what to expect. It happily sits on Bridge Rd and gets a decent amount of traffic and the cocktail menu is enticing enough.
For those that don't know me, I love gingerbread. Anything gingerbread or ginger flavoured, I'm down to try. So I was instantly drawn to Jerry's gingerbread and by golly, it did not disappoint! I could smash that day in and day out especially if it didn't have potential harmful health risks :P Also Sangria is another go to drink. I love the fruity flavours that burst out of the red wine and could down it all day in summer!
Rick Hits Wall Street packed so much tang, it could almost make you hold a sourpuss face. I liked how refreshing it was and I'm not usually a gin drinker. Heavily citrus based though calmed down with the muddle cucumber. Definitely a must!
I ordered the nachos and loved that the chips stayed crunchy throughout the meal. It was probably the fact that proper tortilla chips were used that made it the best set of nachos I've had in a long time. It also seemed like the plate was never ending. Such a good sized plate and I was sooooo happy with the flavours.
What stood out for me when I first entered was the bar lady. Super friendly, wide smile and genuinely enjoyed her job. She assisted with the menu and memorised our orders with ease. It was great to have nice, smooth service.
You should all go here when you want to chill amongst friends and have a decent cocktail menu at your disposal!
We really should do more bars together but even though we've had plenty of opportunity to do so, the prospect of a meal has had a much stronger pull on us. Luckily, this place had both!
I wasn't counting on much food that day - bar food doesn't usually grab my fancy, but once I saw a couple of my favourite Mexican offerings on the menu I couldn't say no.
The food was done exceptionally well for a place that appeared to place so much more focus on their creative cocktails. The food was some of the best Mexican food I've ever have. I've gushed about it all in the main post, but their take on ceviche? Excellent. The tacos? Come on, I had two.
The signature drinks were phenomenal and having tried six different varieties from their careful curated gallery of cocktails, I think I am reasonably qualified to make a such a bold statement.
The interiors were my thing - dark, exposed brick walls and candles. Very pulled back, cool and low key - I wanted to be there with big dark lips, an accent, drop earrings and an amazing LBD.
What tied this all together was the warmth of one of the bartenders, Carly, who was friendly off the bat. She suggested the pork tacos, knowing they'd be an instant hit, further stating that if I returned on a Tuesday, that all Tacos were $3.
$3 taco Tuesdays - do it. You really, really won't regret it.
Food and Drink: ★★★★☆
Customer Service: ★★★★★
General Atmosphere: ★★★☆☆
Value for Money: ★★★★☆
Food and Drink: ★★★★★
Customer Service: ★★★★☆
General Atmosphere: ★★★★★
Value for Money: ★★★★☆