Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Experience: Ocho Hotel

OCHO Hotel
Address: 194 Spadina Avenue
Neighbourhood: Chinatown (West)

New boutique hotel ALERT!!!
If you've also noticed the green grass on Spadina, you're not the only one. After 18 months of construction, Louise and team are ready to launch this spot for competitive accommodations within the walks of downtown. Looking at a June launch, they've been running their reception area/lounge/lobby since March. A full service 24-hrs concierge desk acts as bar/and espresso spot for hotel goers and locals alike.
The Loft style, open raft space with exposed ventilation pipes makes the space work in the design conscious area. Let's not forget about all the architecture/design firms located on Spadina.. Along with the savvy Robertson Building just a couple steps north.
Can this lobby compete with Dark Horse 2?
Not really - it's just different.
They cater towards different crowd, with a more lounge hangout spot, as opposed to full suite cafe work centre at DH2.
You won't really see too many people on their macbook pros typing and designing away in this spot. You're more likely to see groups of friends gathering for a mid-day drink, or after-hours gathering.
Equipped with a full continental menu you might find something to noosh on.

Machine: 3 GroupWega (Straight from Itlay)
Grinder: Wega
Beans: Big Bro
Composition: Sumatra - bass notes
                       Brazil - low- to mid-range; 
                       Nicaragua - high end crispness.
Roasters: Te Aro Roasted
Located: Queen East
Cost: $16/lbs

Suggested espresso brewing specs:

    Dry dose: 18g
    Brew temp: 201F
    Brew time: 25-30sec
    Shot mass: 34-36g liquid

Verdict: Attention to details such as a shot of sparkling water, is definitely a great touch - they must be trained from the boys at TeAro. Sadly, this shot was weak - watery, and no syrupy body. Having had a lot of Big Bro - I'll have to say that this shot does not live up to the potential that I know it can be.

Will they improve? Maybe 
Beans are great - if factors can be controlled, and dedicated baristas start to stay - but for now - get yourself a stiff drink.

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