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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Bar Nightjar, Shoreditch: 18/20* (re-reviewed)


Location: City Road, just off the Old Street roundabout

Website: www.barnightjar.com 

Visit: Friday night

To Note: If you reach a dodgy sandwich shop you're gone too far, look out for the bouncer to guide you and book!

Scores
Ambiance 5/5
Design 5/5
Drinks 4/5
Staff 4/5
Extra LBC star: * For great music and excellent last minute catastrophe cover

So back in November 2011 I reviewed Bar Nightjar, and since then I have visited a plethora of speakeasies, 1920’s nights and cocktail bars across London. So what would I think on my return?

Well, the greeting at the door is one reason why I have stayed away this time. They keep you waiting outside, firmly unwelcome, until your name is taken, confirmed, someone comes to get you from upstairs, someone then opens the door downstairs and takes you to your table. Now I don’t mind all this but for heavens sake would a smile and a “Good Evening, I do hope that you have booked to join us as we have a very popular evening of music”. The door staff could learn a thing or two from the wait staff, who are lovely.

We got stuck right into the cocktail menu and as mine did not show up for 10 minutes (an oversight) they apologized with a glass of champagne whilst it was getting prepared. And let me tell you there was serious drink envy going on. The Stonefence (I think!) came in the most fascinating little wooden bucket with a wooden straw; a Plantation Potion had a singed cape gooseberry that meant you smelt bonfire before the coffee infused palate kicked in. If you hadn’t guessed, presentation is a lot of what goes on here but do not undermine how good drinks are either. I was intrigued by the Moby Dick with its whale skin infusion but opted for a slightly disappointing B-A-Q Daiquiri. No matter, they got it bang on with the The Commodore which not only came with a floating chocolate cup of Chocolate Eau-de-Vie but also a square of dark chocolate topped with a cherry. We also indulged in some “El Presidente” chocolate truffles – we missed dessert! – which were rich and tasty but more of an alcoholic kick would not have gone amiss.

Lastly we opted for a steaming teapot, how could we resist the lure of dry ice in a cocktail?? This was called Nightjar TT Punch and consisted of Hendricks, Rhum, chai and lime and was fabulously fresh and well balanced, slipping down all too easily.

The live music we went to see had “a catastrophe” however we were all refunded and they got another band to step in. They did not start till 11pm but we caught a good half hour and they were good enough to make us want to return. In fact I already have my next two cocktails I want to try marked out from the playing card pack of recipes….!

Great night, why not get a group of friends together, dress up and enjoy this bar to the full. Its not cheap, but you’d be hard pushed for a better speak easy experience in London

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