Carbon Bistro: A Flight of Fancy

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Noble Savage (he said):

Gin is quickly becoming the new “it” drink, with everyone and their mother jumping on the bandwagon. Carbon Bistro has for the last 15 months been Pretoria’s only quality gin bar, and they recently upped their game with the introduction of Flights of Gin, their take on a gin tasting experience.

Each tasting falls within a theme, and we tried the “Home” and “Abroad” tastings. Obviously the “Home” tasting featured a selection of local gin and the “Away” selection are some of the international gins they offer.

Each tasting is served with orange peel, cucumber, fruit pearls, and a bottle of Fitch and Leeds tonic. One is encouraged to try different combinations with the different gins – the local gins all went brilliantly with lemon peel and tonic. The cucumber tends to overwhelm the subtlety of the gins, and is best reserved for your “regular” mass produced gins.

In a highly competitive environment, the pressure is on Carbon Bistro to continuously innovate – after chatting to Reinhardt Paulsen, it became very clear that this team is not your run-of-the-mill restaurateurs. They prefer not to do what the other restaurants are doing, and prefer to offer experimental experiences to the patrons. Emphasis on experimental – they really love their dry ice! I also had a cold brew coffee G & T, and it was life changing. It’s the perfect drink to take to work in a thermos to help you not stab your co-workers.

We didn’t have any meals on the day, but the menu looks very impressive. They specialise in steaks, but have many other options available (previously I had a burger, and it ticked many of my boxes). They did decide to treat us to their new irish coffee dessert. Firstly, it’s not what you think it is. All the flavours of an irish coffee, distilled onto a plate. This is something that that Heston Blumenthal wishes he could make. Cue applause and much ooh-ing and aah-ing.

With winter approaching, many people might stay away from G & T’s, as it seems like a refreshing summer drink. Carbon Bistro has a very different idea – it’s launching soon, so I’m not going to spoil it. Just know that if you need a winter warmer, head over to Carbon Bistro.

BoozyFoodie (she said):

We have always been huge fans of Carbon Bistro!  This stylish establishment not only serves a mind-blowing variety of local and imported gin, but they also host a lot of interresting events, and their food is absolutely superb!  (Flashback to The Awesomeness of Gin (at Carbon Bistro).  If you following them on social media (follow Carbon Bistro on Facebook), you keep updated on whatever’s hip and happening in the fastpaced world of gin!

Carbon Bistro is also one of the first restaurants that stocks the brand new Fitch & Leeds pink tonic. It is a beautiful Indian Tonic infused with rose and cucumber – and it makes the most gorgeous G&Ts!   I tried this with Pienaar and Sons gin. And don’t you just love the theatrics of dry ice??  More of that to come!

Noble Savage already told you about the two gin flights we tried.  And it was quite an eye opener to compare the ‘home’ and ‘abroad’ gins.  Our local craft gins are so rich in botanicals like bucho, fynbos, kalahari truffle, honey etc.  While the ‘abroad’ gins have more citrus flavours.

That is also why we had so much fun experimenting with the various garnishes – this is such a fun and educational = ginucational experience!   Bring a couple of friends and share a ‘flight’ or two or three or all of them!  They currently offer five gin flights – Home, Abroad, New Comer, Premium and Luxury & Rare.  The tastings range from R105 to R350 – and is a real treat, for gin notices and connoiseurs!

Noble Savage said that he will keep the ‘winter gin’ idea a secret for now, but I won’t!  Simply because I am so excited about this, and because this is such an innovative idea (these guys know how to keep ahead of the pack!)

We had the opportunity to taste the brand new ‘gin and tea’ – yes, you read right – rooibos gin and tea!  What a treat!  And half of the experience is the presentation!

The wow factor is strong with this one!  And it is really good – can just sip gin and tea for days!

So this blows the idea that gin is only a summer drink totally out of the ballpark!

But the magic doesn’t end!  You heard about this fantastic Irish Coffee dessert – and this is such a treat!  If you want to impress the pants of someone – put this plate in front of them.

Vanilla cream, whisky jellies, homemade honeycomb, etc etc!  Absolutely gorgeous to look at and the tastes, textures and flavours works so well!

It wa great chatting to Reinhardt, to just hear all the ideas and exciting projects coming up!  His passion and commitment to Carbon Bisto, Pretoria as a foodie destination as well as his love for gin is contagious!  Thank you so much for your hospitality and giving us the opportunity to share the awesomeness of gin and Carbon Bistro!  We will be back SOON!

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