I walked into Tusker Lite Sky Bar just a few minutes shy off noon.
A really well-lit place with splashes of bold colors thrown around. She was quiet but expressive. At a corner, there was a man, mid-thirties, traditional weekend attire of khaki’s, t-shirt and blazer. If I remember correctly, he had on Chelsea boots and in the company of a lady.
He had a beer and in between sips shared laughs with his company. He didn’t notice me coming in but the date did. We shared brief eye contact as I walked past them and perched myself onto a high stool. Right next to a large window offering a clear view of Westlands – which is not much but tall buildings in different stages of construction.
I was there for a White Cap Brunch running, courtesy of Eat Out. Which seemed a bit ironical, because, Tusker Lite? White Cap? I am not sure exactly how that slipped through the cracks. Because right opposite the place is Kilele, a neutral restaurant that would’ve been best suited to host the event.
When I think brunch the last thing that comes to my mind is beer. So even while sometimes events are about pushing boundaries, the sentiment of this particular one was lost on me. Somethings are just perfect together and they should be left like that.
Whoever invented the Weng Weng Cocktail, basically just looked at a line on a bar shelf and decided to sample everything
Upsetting the natural balance usually does not end well. For instance, no one would think of messing with bread and butter. When it comes to toons Phineas and Ferb take the cake. In current affairs, who better than our politicians and pay hikes? Beer and brunch just sounded like a stretch. Here’s why.
For starters, pairing food with beer is an uphill task. I love myself a good cold beer, but I am mature to admit that it does not go well with food. Beer has a unique taste that sort of grows on you. The problem with the taste of beer is that it is selfish and jealous. It does not let you enjoy anything else with it. For most, it is used to wash down a meal not taken in between bites. So ideally when I need to sip in between bites I go for sweeter ciders, juices or soda.
Or maybe beer and food is just another acquired taste I need to build up to.
For their brunch menu, it was not fully extensive. It was a three course with two starter options, three main course options, and one dessert option. From a foodie point of view, the only thing about it that felt well thought through was the fact that the mains had mbuzi choma and burger options. Those traditionally do try and go well with beer. The starters offered Tempura’s and Bruschetta which I don’t think would complement beers.
But the Sky Bar’s appeal to me has never come from their food menu, the one thing that really brought me here was their cocktail selection.
A Weng Weng is like that friend everyone warns you about, but you never heed because they are just too nice. You’d be damned if they had ulterior motives.
One specifically, that is from the Philippines with a name sounding like an urban myth. It is called the Weng Weng. Its appeal is that its sweetness veils its strength. You are warned to be careful with it. It feels like that friend everyone warns you about, but you never heed because they are just too nice. You’d be damned if they had ulterior motives.
Here’s why there’s a warning, the Weng Weng comes packing vodka, tequila, rum, brandy, scotch, and bourbon. Whoever invented this drink basically just looked at a line on a bar shelf and decided to sample everything. From the ingredients, it feels like a drink you would have if you were on death row. This is not a drink to cope with your problems, this is a drink to end them.
With a tinge of sweetness because, when you are on the edge you do not deserve too much bitterness. At least that is what I thought.
On first impression the drink is gorgeous. It looks like it came to attend a ballroom event in a flowing red gown. Her appearances do not match her name. It is like having meeting someone who says they are a princess but their first name is Philomena.
On first taste, you are choked by its sweetness. It has the kind of sweetness that is rough on the throat. Even after warnings that it is sweet, you are not prepared for it. I think they should cut back on that and not try to desperately mask its strength. Which I am coming to in a few.
A few sips in the sweetness dissipates, you feel a tinge of alcohol on your tongue which goes down your throat slightly burning. But in a smooth way. Like swallowing cold fire. Or fire on ice. After that, it settles in your tummy with a slow burn. You feel your insides react to it and then a buzz settles in. This happens for the next few sips and at some point, you think you won’t make it through the glass. But it is just a gimmick.
When you are done the buzz fades. You are left with the thrill of the drink, the disappearing sweetness, and the initial sting. But, all factors constant she is a good drink. She does not leave you high and dry with an unmaintained buzz. Its sweetness extends to its personality and it lets you off easy. You don’t feel the pinch of parting with KES 950 for it, but you also know you won’t be doing it again. At least not anytime soon.
The thing though, is that she leaves you with good memories. You will tell anyone who cares to listen about it and even recommend it.
It is one of those drinks you have to at least try and not take anyone’s word for it. I feel it gives different people different experiences. But for myself, I got a craving to try something else off the menu. For this writer, he will try the bullfrog. A concoction of rum, vodka, tequila, gin, and red bull.
Anyone up for that?
PS: There was a lovely lady, Rachel who served us. Ask for her when you go there.
A view of Westlands from the sky bar. Nothing exactly remarkable.