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Bratislava goes Latin

THE FLAMENCO Music Club is the first place in Bratislava to venture into the Latin American scene. Needless to say, my anticipation led to an almost unbearable thirst. The lemon gin and tonic was the perfect antidote to the horrific, heavy rain and appalling wind that followed me cursing and muttering to the entrance. The screwdriver that followed was a serious cocktail, well fortified with vitamin C. Vaguely reminiscent of morning dew, festive yet mature, it proved perfect for meeting new people.
The interior of the club is spacious and clean, providing plenty of room and a refined atmosphere suitable for splashing about in your own sexiness as the night wears on. The dark wood of the tables is perfectly sombre while the deep red of the walls, trimmed in colonial white, will excite, but not incense. The photography follows the theme without being gaudy or cliché. The sofas border on luxurious.

Flamenco Music Club

Where: Štefánikova 14
Open 10:00 - 05:00
Tel: 02 5441-4205
English menu: Yes
Rating: 7 out of 10

THE FLAMENCO Music Club is the first place in Bratislava to venture into the Latin American scene. Needless to say, my anticipation led to an almost unbearable thirst. The lemon gin and tonic was the perfect antidote to the horrific, heavy rain and appalling wind that followed me cursing and muttering to the entrance. The screwdriver that followed was a serious cocktail, well fortified with vitamin C. Vaguely reminiscent of morning dew, festive yet mature, it proved perfect for meeting new people.

The interior of the club is spacious and clean, providing plenty of room and a refined atmosphere suitable for splashing about in your own sexiness as the night wears on. The dark wood of the tables is perfectly sombre while the deep red of the walls, trimmed in colonial white, will excite, but not incense. The photography follows the theme without being gaudy or cliché. The sofas border on luxurious.

The menu is somewhat of an anomaly. The sauerkraut soup with smoked pig knee, home-made sausage and cream would be the perfect first step in leading wary locals towards a fiery menu of foreign delicacies. Unsurprisingly, we find instead a slight variation of the usual suspects lingering about town. The vegetarian section offers spaghetti Bolognese (meat sauce) and spaghetti carbonara (bacon). Beyond this extensive vegetarian menu there are three primary choices: fried crab, pepper or Roquefort steak, and the speciality of the house, chilli con carne. The beef option is unusual and the chilli con carne, featuring 'three sorts of piquant meat with beans', sounds alluring but in general, imaginations and taste buds will rest easy.

I ordered the crab sticks in search of something light, but different, to accompany my cocktail. Unfortunately, I ignored the preceding vyprážané (deep fried) and paid a heavy price. The crab sticks are not the stuff of dreams. The crab may well wear a coat of armour and ward off beasts of prey with menacing claws while rummaging about the sea floor, but once in the kitchen, it is a creature to be treated lightly, tenderly, to be loved and nourished, to be bathed in savoury sauces, light and buttery, the aroma of garlic and a hint of fresh pepper subtly mingling in the mix. To force crab into a battery strait jacket, even freeze-wrapped crab from distant seas, is simply an unpardonable act. The side of cabbage was at once comforting and disturbing.

The service was quick, attentive and the entire staff was delightfully and tastefully attired in silky, flowing shirts of a deep red hue. Full marks to a waitress able to deal elegantly and competently with a barrage of questions and numbing indecision, all in gibberish Slovak.

The Flamenco Music Club offers the prospect of novel entertainment. Every second weekend there will be a special bar show beginning at 21:00 Friday and Saturday nights featuring displays of daring with bottles of booze, shakers and fire. An auction for various exotic concoctions will follow. A bevy of Latin American music performed by the Miguel Mendes group is to be expected.

There will be lessons each week for those interested in pursuing the finer steps in the world of Latin American dance. Specific days have yet to be selected but the lessons will be conducted by the Miguel Mendes group twice a day from 14:00 - 19:00.

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