|The bar at Chica Linda, Bourke Street, Surry Hills|
|Chica Linda fitout|
|Hot Lady mixed drink|
|Caprininha Amazonica cocktail|
More fruity and enjoyable was the Caprininha Amazonica with cachaca and pineapple juice, shaken with an aromatic coconut sugar and garnished with a beautifully ripe segment of fresh pineapple.
|Burnin Passion shots|
Quite the unusual sight not on top of a Zombie cocktail, the Burnin Passion shots are pure novelty with the alcohol-driven flames singing some edges of the passionfruit. Avoid drinking from the burnt bits to get a pretty sweet shot or so, depending on the size and balancing abilities of your passionfruit shell.
|Chicarones, guasacaca sauce|
Airy, crisp and not oily, these boiled, dried and deep fried pork rinds were served with a very light seasoning, and a sensational green guascaca sauce that was vinegary, garlicky and all sorts of bliss with the puffy chicarones.
|Smoked pork arepas, honey chipotle glaze, pickled slaw (front) and grilled cheese arepas, corn salsa and salsa rojo|
While the smoked pork variety with a hunk of glazed meat and joyously contrasting red cabbage slaw and green sauce looked a treat, I went with the grilled cheese option which had a hunk of grilled haloumi cheese and a delightful salsa of corn, black beans and capsicum.
|Soft shell crab arepas, avocado, hot sauce|
|Flamed longaniza, aji chilli, pineapple|
The satisfyingly coarse, porky sausage filling was a highlight with sweet, spiced flavours bursting from within the smoky char of its flame-grill treatment. Along with the ripe pineapple dice of the salsa, it was sausage heaven.
|King crab diablo, spicy paprika sauce|
With the Drink'n'Dine group's messy and lovable House of Crabs probably going through tonnes of seafood a day, it's nice to see the crustacean love shared among venues.
|King crab diablo|
The crab legs were best accessed with scissors and the claws with crackers, with sweet, juicy crab flesh in abundance in both. Not as messy as a HOC affair, finger bowls and plenty of napkins come still come in handy.
|Achiote smoked chicken, tomatillo salsa|
The chicken had a deep smoky flavour and that firm texture of smoked meat, and was particularly homely when eaten with a side of the soft Coca-Cola rice and beans.
|Puerto Rican roast pork, salsa criolla|
|Green and red tomato, jicama, aji chilli, chia seeds, queso|
|Quinoa, barley, pomegranate, orange, labne|
|Two colour fries|
|Black Naga cocktail|
There are a couple of cocktails that could be matched to dessert, including the dark Black Naga of Herradura Anejo tequila, chocolate bitters, brown sugar and a curious garnish of cucumber, served on the rocks. The dark chocolate flavour really came through, setting off the chocolate dessert well.
|Chocolate milke cake, mashmallow, buttermilk ice cream, passionfruit|
|Guava empanada, apple, dulce de leche ice cream, fried plantain|
With just the right amount of spice and sweetness (just as comforting as the apple pie from a particular global fast food chain), the empanada was finished with a caramelly dulce de leche ice cream and lightly fried, crisp plantain shavings.
|Chica Linda fitout|
And unlike most hot ladies, Chica Linda is fun, approachable and not in the least pretentious - check her out.
Food, Booze & Shoes dined as a guest of Chica Linda and Drink'n'Dine.