1073 Cocktails and 238 Bars now listed
Zumbura is an exciting new restaurant featuring authentic homemade food from the Purab region in North East India, alongside an eclectic and exciting cocktail menu. Freshly made, light, and full of flavour, our food and drink is served in a unique contemporary setting in the heart of cool Clapham.
Do you like cocktails? Of course you do, you’re browsing a website called Social and Cocktail. But how about cocktails and Indian food? Sound like a good combination to you? We agree.
It is especially successful when the Indian food in question comes in the form of smaller sharing dishes from the Northern Purab region. This means the heavy kormas and standard vindaloos are replaced with aromatic stews, murghi ka salan ‘home style’ curry and velvety-soft meat kebabs.
But on to the cocktails, because this is what lured us to this congenial pocket of Clapham Old Town in the first place. The menu is not your standard ‘restaurant-attempts-mixology’ – there’s not the usual uninspired list of mojito, cosmopolitan and margarita. There are a selection of inspired and rather innovative libations to tempt your palate, using quality spirits.
Take the Zumbura Signature Cocktails. Names like Molly Moo Moo and Fruity Wallah show their fun and frisky side, while also displaying a knowledge of what makes a darned tasty drink. The latter, for example, is an invigorating and enticing Indian version of a mojito – Bacardi, mint, lime, apple and the sweetness of lychee that is given a hint of aromatic spice with smoky chaat masala. And if you’re a fan of the good old Bloody Mary, then Zumbura’s Bloody Spicy will have you clapping your hands in delight- chilli and coriander are infused with Stoli and combined with Chef Raju’s spicy sauce to give this cocktail a wonderful potent kick.
But it’s not just classics that are given an Asian twist – Zumbura have invented some of their own rather intriguing but equally delectable offerings. I loved the Himalayan Ice Tea – a refreshing and incredibly fragrant cocktail merging Red Leg rum and St Germaine elderflower liqueur with thirst-quenching mint, earl grey and jasmine tea, and then adding the woody rustic charms of cardamom, cloves and cinnamon bark. Definitely one to taste.
For anyone wanting a shake-n-wake up, I can heartily recommend the Totally Expressive. This humungous martini, served in the most gorgeous of glassware, is a rejuvenating mixture of vanilla vodka, Tia Maria, espresso, and the delightful hazelnut smoothness of Frangelico.
In fact, good glassware is a common theme. One of my favourite drinks of the night had to be the Scorched Nuts – a sweet, indulgent but in no way heavy or creamy combination of Amaretto, Frangelico, cinnamon and lemon. It arrived in a small glass tankard, the colour of honeyed amber, and brought to mind warm firesides and toasty slippers.
The cocktail of the night, however, was probably the Indian Negroni. Maybe it’s because I’m having a love affair with negronis at the moment. Maybe it’s because they used Woodford Reserve and I’m a particular fan of this bourbon. Whatever the reason, this sensational drink, made with the addition of Aperol, Antica Formula, Cointreau & Peychaud Bitters, just pipped its fellow concoctions to the post.
So there’s a hint at what the cocktails are like, and I can also confirm that the food was tasty, not overly-rich, and provided the perfect accompaniment to a bit of sipping. And what’s more, at about £7 for each drink then the price is superb given the quality that is being provided – very impressive indeed.
If you don’t fancy making it too formal and grabbing a table then pull up a stool at the bar (a glorious thing, five meters long and cut from a single ethically-sourced oak tree), where you can simply relax with a drink. The decor is funky and contemporary, with exposed ochre bricks, primary-bright fittings and splashes of bright colour from yellow lemons and lush herbs.
Zumbura is offering a fresh take – on Indian cuisine, on delicious cocktails, and on a unique space to while away your time. Whether you’re a South London local, or are taking a specific trip to this little gem of a place, then we promise you won’t be disappointed.