1073 Cocktails and 238 Bars now listed
At the heart of Bread Street Kitchen sits two bars, offering up an atmosphere of buzz and excitement. Specialists have created both classic and innovative cocktails, martini, champagne and long cocktails take pride on the menu. Only using the freshest ingredients, sourced from the local borough market nearby these cocktails are selected to fit alongside a seasonally changing menu. Come in and experience the City night life at Bread Street Kitchen, whether you choose to socialize with friends or relax in a quiet corner. The dramatic space, designed by Russell Sage Studio, is New York loft meets East London edge. Original vintage armchairs, leather banquettes, exquisite individually selected antique glass shades mixed with industrial scaffolding frames creates the space.
The relationship between drink quality and intensity of interior design is almost always inverse. Save for a few hotel bars where lavish interiors is a pre-requisite, much like an X-factor boyband, for the most part you can be sure that the more style a bar has, the less substance is behind it. That’s not to say places can’t look and taste good, but rather it seems like those who splash out on fancy designers who think placing things like upholstered gym horses in the bar are a good idea, do so before deciding who to wort out the cocktail menu.
The aforementioned upholstered gym horse wouldn’t be so bad if it were in some quirky ‘make everything look like it’s been recycled’ Shoreditch hipster-cave, but here it sits alongside an otherwise industrial metal-clad room reminiscent mostly of a great big expensive New York fire escape. It’s bold, brash and painfully fashionable. Which is annoying, because daft seating aside, I quite like it.
Sadly, Ramsay’s (yep, this is a Gordon Ramsay outpost) senior team don’t think they can trust the bartenders to come up with anything worth drinking, and have foisted a token cocktail menu to help boost the GP and no-doubt lubricate the wallet for when it comes time to look at the wine list. More fool them. Tonight was new menu night, meaning that ordering a single “two smoking barrels”, meant that the bartender unfamiliar with the names ended up with one to drink herself. No matter that said drink had to be created whilst reading the recipe, nor that this meant three different shakes in the process, somehow this blend of rum, benedictine, lime and velvet falernum was as silky-smooth as anything with velvet in should be.
In a sign perhaps of London’s increasingly competitive cocktail bartender sector, the second chap on duty possessed no shortage of skill, yet made no attempt to hide his displeasure at working in a restaurant bar on account of being unable to source work elsewhere. His skills were put to good use via an expertly crafted vermouth-heavy (just the way it should be) Martinez, and an off-menu combination of cognac, port, Campari and sherry and lime. The former was bittersweet enough to sit on anyone’s menu, and whilst the latter tasted a little too much of a sour Chewit, I liked the creativity.
It might be brasher than a city boy on bonus day, but there is pleasure to be gained from cutting through all the waffle and enjoying a quiet drink whilst everyone else fluffs their feathers in the restaurant upstairs. Just don’t sit on the upholstered gym-horse, you’ll look like a wally.