I am a sucker for cookery shows on TV to the extent that I have not got the food channel on Sky in case the non-stop excitement of an all day cookery channel means I am never able to leave the house. This addiction meant that I saw the first few shows of Raymond Blanc’s, The Restaurant, before tuning out and moving on to Saturday Kitchen, Baking Made Easy and whatever else was around to encourage my obsession. So, if like me you missed most of The Restaurant, it may come as a surprise to know that JJ and James were the winners and have now opened the London Cocktail club in Fitzrovia which is primarily a bar rather than a restaurant.
I was invited to visit the bar on its launch last night. It is in a basement just off Goodge street with a great vintage looking antique wood fit-out and lots of intriguing looking bottles of spirits behind the bar. Unfortunately the graffiti painted entrance is not really in keeping with the rest of the bar but if you ignore that the inside is pretty cosy. Service is excellent, and all the staff are really knowledgeable about the cocktail and bar snacks menu and very skilled in their mixology skills. Special mention must be made of JJ and James (a Melbourne boy) who are both super enthusiastic and gracious hosts.
The cocktails are excellent. From light and elegant bellinis (£8.50) to kick-start the night espresso martinis to sweet and fabulous porn star martinis (£7.50) they are impossible to fault. Get the Brixton Riot (£7.50) which is set alight at the bar if you want to impress so someone. However the food is really just standard bar fodder rather than restaurant quality food. Cups of parmesan popcorn (£1.50) don’t taste that different to what is on offer at local cinemas and scotch eggs are served cold rather than freshly cooked with a runny yolk. The must-order dish is probably the lamb koftes (£2.50) which have a great spicy kick to them and are teamed with a creamy, garlic heavy tzatziki sauce.
Porn star martini
JJ and James told me they are hoping to roll out their bar but if they are going to sell themselves on their food I think there are a few changes which need to be made.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of The London Cocktail Club.
Essentials: The London Cocktail Club, 61 Goodge St, Fitzrovia W1T 1TL (Ph 020 7836 9533) Tube: Goodge Street