Tag Archives: cocktails

The Rum Kitchen, Soho

Located in Carnaby Street’s shiny Kingly Court, this is the second Rum Kitchen in London town. The first one’s been open for a year or so and has already attracted His Royal Highness of Wonderment Mr Prince Harry.

 

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Less a restaurant, more a beach shack bar that screams unashamedly of its love for rum and sunshine, this place is all about fun, food and good times.

 

rum kitchen

 

The bright brains behind the Rum Kitchen have brought the Bahamas to the city, with blue and white pastel beach hut planks, random patches of sun-faded corrugated metal and odd little trinkets that *might* have been picked up on the beach. The music’s great too, it’s like a party… with dinner.

 

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The cocktail menu is a hefty book of a thing, filled with some of the loveliest cocktails in town, most of which are under a tenner. Definitely try the Grog, a deadly concoction of lime, ginger beer and plenty of rum. Served in a little enamel mug this one’s guaranteed to bring out the Jack Sparrow in you. Whether or not that’ll be a good thing, though, remains to be seen.

 

rum kitchen

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Whilst it’s not technically Caribbean, the Rum Kitchen’s Mojito is one of the best I’ve ever had – and I suppose that’s down to the quality of the rum. It’s so good it’s likely to turn your brain into marshmallow and leave you a slurring, stuttering mess before the night’s out.

 

rum kitchen mojito

 

Want something more authentic? Mama’s Guinness Punch should do the trick – over-proof rum, condensed milk and Guinness mixed with spices, chocolate bitters and served over ice.

 

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The menu is a sort of Anglicised take on Caribbean classics – apparently London palates can’t handle the real deal. But before you get all outraged and angry about this try the ‘toned-down’ swamp sauce. I did, and immediately accepted my palate’s fate as an absolute wuss. This bottle of scotch bonnet LAVA lulls you into a false sense of security, looking just like our good friend Mr Ketchup. But don’t trust it. A tiny dab onto my tongue and I lost all sensation for the duration of the evening. A whole mouthful could likely kill a man.

 

rum kitchen sauces

 

Anyway, warning over and done with, we’ll move onto the food. We tried the shack’s signature Jerk Chicken Thighs (£8.50) – crispy, crunchy and moist with a bit of bite… but not too much bite! Served with extra jerk sauce for those braver than me, and pineapple slaw, which is like cole slaw but more exotic.

 

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We also had a Jerk Chicken Supreme (£13.50) – grilled chicken breast, sweet potato and yam mash served with jerk gravy.

 

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The Soft Shell Crab Burger (£11.50) was a monster of thing, towering several feet into the air. The spicy tamarind sauce, ginger aïloi and guava-lime relish added to its gravity-defying brilliance.

 

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The final choice was a Jerk Fried Chicken Burger, served with scotch bonnet garlic mayo. And the world’s BEST sweet potato fries (£3), served in a small bucket.

 

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rum kitchen

 

Several cocktails later we stumbled out onto the streets of Soho, feeling like we’d just spent a week on a desert island.

 

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The Verdict: The only bad thing about the Rum Kitchen is having to emerge into the real world afterwards. Seriously, it’s that good.

 

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10/10

 

The Rum Kitchen, Soho website: therumkitchen.com

The Rum Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Free Gin! It’s #TanquerayThursdays

Forget that World Cup nonsense. This Saturday is WORLD GIN DAY, a day so smashing that many find it entirely impossible to comprehend. In fact, some smart thinking types at Tanqueray love World Gin Day so much they’ve decided to extend it…

 

 

Now gin-lovers of the world will be able to enjoy two-for-one gin cocktails at ten of London’s finest cocktail bars every Thursday, for TEN WHOLE weeks, thanks to a wonderful new thing called #TanquerayThursdays.

 

Tanqueray was born nearly 200 years ago in London’s Bloomsbury, and it also happens to be the best-selling gin in the top 50 Best Bars In The World. So its seems entirely just that it should have more than one day on this busy calendar of ours.

 

 

To get your two for one cocktails all you need to do is show your bartender that you’ve tweeted something to do with #TanquerayThursdays. And boom. Double the gin for you. There’ll be ten bars participating. They are…

 

  • Bounce, Holborn
  • The King of Ladies Man, Battersea
  • The Lucky Pig, Fitzrovia
  • Earlham Street Clubhouse, Covent Garden
  • Cecil’s, London Bridge
  • Ruby’s, Dalston
  • The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Liverpool Street
  • Steam & Rye, The City
  • The Big Easy, Covent Garden
  • Callooh Callay, Shoreditch

 

#TanquerayThursdays will be running for ten weeks, from 9th June 18th August 2014. For a full list of the participating bars, information about each week’s featured bar and weekly opportunities to enter brand new competitions, visit the #TanquerayThursdays page HERE.

Dirty Martini, Hanover Square

If you’re looking to channel your inner Bond with a delicious and nutritious* Martini you can’t go wrong with Dirty Martini.

 

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The Hanover Square branch is the perfect place to rest weary toes after a day of shopping on nearby Regent Street, and that’s exactly what we did last weekend.

 

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J’Ara of style and beauty blog La Sugar Lace and I sampled two of their classic cocktails. J’Ara picked the Dirty Martini, which must be said with much emphasis on the DIRTY. This includes your choice of Martini Grey Goose Vodka or Tanqueray Gin, mixed with Kalamata olives & thyme served straight up with a hint of Martini and Extra Dry Vermouth. This tasted like all the world’s alcohol in one glass. I tried it and almost fell of the face of the Earth.

 

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My choice was a little less adventurous, Passion Fruit Martini, a delectable concoction of Beefeater Gin shaken with Passoa, fresh passion fruit and passion fruit juice. This was rather less shocking. Sort of like fruit juice, but better. Much better.

 

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Dirty Martini also does happy hours, where you can get half price Prosecco cocktails, Martinis and bottled wine. Which means you can drink twice as much!!! Or just spend less, whatever.

 

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*Really, some are sort of healthy! Dirty Martini also serve up skinny cocktails, the skinniest of which contains a mere 123 calories – it’s called Skinny Grape & Elderflower Martini, ok weight watchers?

 

Hanover Square Happy Hours:

Mon – Thurs 4pm – 10pm

Fri – Sat 4pm – 8pm

 

10c Hanover Square

London

W1S 1JH

Hanoversquare@dirtymartini.uk.com

0844 371 2550

 

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Talented Mr Fox, Soho

In the backstreets of Soho lies an escape from the rammed pubs and hideous tourist traps. A crazy fox den of an escape… Talented Mr Fox.

 

He isn’t really a fox, he’s Mr Whiley. But I reckon we can safely say he is talented.

 

Matt Whiley is behind some of the cocktail community’s top bars, Purl, Worship Street Whistling Shop and Shoreditch’s Peg & Patriot. He’s famed for his madcap concoctions and the use of all sorts of fancy equipment in the making of mixed drinks… and Talented Mr Fox is Whiley’s first residency at top Leicester Square Hotel One Leicester Street.

 

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The cocktails here are definitely for the more adventurous drinkers – on the menu is a Bloody Mary (£16) made with clarified pig’s blood and ‘black pudding distillate’. Even the ones listed under ‘Nice and Easy’ are nothing short of unusual…

 

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Frightened by the very mention of pig’s blood we opted for some more accessible drinks. Mary Hoppins was made with Moonshine Kid Hop Gin, Manzanilla and Honey. The Twisted Nose comes complete with Foraged Leaves, Celery and Lemon – it was the talk of foraging that got me interested, you know. But our last order was undoubtedly the most exciting. This one, whose name I have (to my shame) forgotten, was flavoured with Monster Munch! Pickled Onion flavour! Goodness!

 

Monster Munch
Monster Munch

 

Twisted Nose
Twisted Nose
Mary Hoppins
Mary Hoppins

 

When the drinks arrived I’ll admit I was slightly disappointed. They appeared just like normal drinks. They didn’t live up to their outlandish descriptions, at least in appearance.

 

On tasting we were largely reassured, they sure didn’t taste like any cocktails we’d ever had before, and all the odd flavours came through despite there being so much alcohol in each one it almost knocked us clean off our seats – definitely proving Mr Fox’s talents! I’d recommend the Twisted Nose, full of sharp citrus flavours and actual salad ingredients (i.e. incredibly healthy).

 

The Talented Mr Fox Bar
The Talented Mr Fox Bar

 

The Verdict: Great cocktails unlike any you’ve ever had before. Perfect if you’re looking for a bit of calm in the craziness of Chinatown. I’ve heard the  Urban Foxtail (£11) is served in a little wheelie bin, too. Definitely get that!

 

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7/10 

 

£££

 

One Leicester Street on Urbanspoon

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Lego Robots at Drink Shop Do, King’s Cross

First let me begin by issuing a most humble apology for the recent neglect of London Grump. You see I have just moved into a brand new dwelling in London town, and due to the complete ineptitude of Orange/EE/whoever they are these days, I am entirely WITHOUT internet. A fate worse than death, you’ll understand.

 

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When Mac Met Cheese Pop-Up Restaurant, Bayswater

When Mac Met Cheese claim to make the best mac n’ cheese in the world – and they might just be right. Their new pop-up restaurant is now open; you can pay them a visit in Bayswater until the 4th June.

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