Bar review: Picada in SoHo – cocktails and South American fare in a casual atmosphere
What it lacks in sophistication it makes up for with cheerfulness, a warm welcome from staff and reasonably priced drinks
The vibe: tucked away at the end of Elgin Street on the corner of Peel Street, Picada is a small, snug, space a few steps down from street level. It’s open to the street, which gives an airy feeling to the semi-basement setting, despite the odd waft of petrol from passing cars just outside the windows. The bar is friendly and relaxed, although the supposed South American theme wasn’t much in evidence the night we were there except in the list of snacks.
The drinks: signature cocktails are available in alcoholic (HK$90) and non-alcoholic (HK$60) versions, a nice touch for the abstemious – although it must be said the difference wasn’t always obvious to the taste, because most of the drinks we tried were very much on the light side.
Best of the bunch was the Hot Senorita, a well-balanced version of the classic margarita with plenty of alcohol and just the right amount of kick from the added chilli that gives the drink its name.
Taken from a special list (“Menu Artezanal”) for Hong Kong Art Week, the Xango Tango (HK$120, Absolut, Xango mangosteen, lemon, ginger twist, ginger ale) sounded intriguing but was disappointingly bland and the presentation surprisingly inartistic – just a basic glass jar. Prettiest of the cocktails was Eva, a pina colada-inspired white concoction served in a champagne flute decorated with a flower, which was delicate and not too sweet.
The verdict: while not the height of sophistication, Picada is cheerful and friendly with a warm welcome from the staff. A handy spot if you want to do some casual, inexpensive drinking in SoHo, or try some South American food.
Picada, 16A Elgin Street, SoHo, Tel: 2526 7538. Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-midnight (Thursday to Saturday until 2am)