Nestled amongst the stylish frontiers of corporate Parnell lies the latest offering from the couple that brought you Ponsonby Central's Maldito Mendez. Baruhlo (Portuguese for 'noise') is now into its second month of life, and has already become a hit with well-heeled locals in its re-imagining of the local neighbourhood bar.
Sarah Ginella and Nico Mendez conceived the entire fit-out themselves and they make ingenious use of the limited space that Baruhlo occupies (formerly a fire exit for the offices next door). Tables and chairs spill onto the street and you can stop by for coffee from 7am and try one of the fresh Alfajores made daily (the chef makes a start on these at 4am, and post-lunchtime a whole cabinet-full is whittled down to one tray). These delicate cookies from South America are the feature of the sweet menu and come in such tempting flavours as peanut butter whip, chocolate, quince and lemon, and the classic dulche de leche.
Traverse the stairs and you'll find an intimate dining space. This definitely isn't the place to bring your extended family but it's perfect for dates or small groups. Exposed brickwork creates a light, breezy ambience which is complemented by the soulful Latino playlist. The folding glass doors fold back to allow extra space for outdoor dining in warmer weather.
If you're in the mood for something different the cocktail list presents some unique twists on old favourites. In place of the traditional Bloody Mary you can try the Bloody Caesar — a spicy concoction of tequila, clamato and hot sauce. Or try the sumptuous Espresso Martini, blended with chestnut liqueur and vanilla syrup. The wine list boasts options ranging from France to Portugal to Argentina, as well as including New Zealand grown varietals.
The main menu changes weekly and as a result is short, but certainly tempting with great variety and we're hoping the mussels will be a mainstay. The portions are generous, so if you're in the mood for something lighter you can order tasting plates to share.
Baruhlo is perfect for a Euro-Latin style morning tea or more intimate mid-week dining experience. We're already excited about sitting outside during the warmer months with an Estrella and charcuterie plate. Take a break from the norm and try this answer to a mini Trans-Pacific holiday — without leaving the fringes of the inner city.