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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Jetlag, Fitzrovia: Liquidnation, Notting Hill

Adrift of the main Charlotte Street action, I worry Jetlag (pictured), Fitzrovia’s latest cocktail joint/ diner, might not take-off. Its soul inhabits the 1980s bar scene in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, I'm told, but its decor belongs to a hotel off the M25 while a dark clubby downstairs DJ bar - sans DJ and lined with bubbling fish tanks sans fish - feels like somewhere your Dad danced to Madonna back in the 1980’s nanosecond when she was kewl. But for cracking cocktails and cheerful service, Jetlag is well worth traveling for. Sure, £7.25 is almost as much as a no-frills flight to Faro, but a flawless rhubarb and pineapple daiquiri beats any orange cattle truck out of Luton. Equally good, despite its daft handle, is I’m from a gee; a tequila martini laced with cardamom and lychee served by a bubbly, blonde Lithuanian named Sky who should be made the future template for all female cabin crew. It may contain just a single slug of hooch, but a mere £2.50 buys a daiquiri, margarita, mojito, or indeed any other drink sold at Liquidnation where the most popular call, on the evidence of bottles stacked high in cardboard cases, appears to be obscure imported lagers (Nils, Lynx et al) Owner Vince Power should have a hit on his hands with this indie-leaning concession to recessionistas. Under the gaze of Fred The Shred, Bernie Madoff and other modern bogeymen - Alistair & Gordon’s images also featured in the rogue’s gallery -  post-disco punkettes Deep Below are one of tonight’s three bands playing to appreciative slackers channelling Shoreditch circa 1998. With ten students from the University of the Arts invited to each design an area of the venue, the interior - including a giant Wendy house - is a tastier stew than Power’s last effort at this jinxed site, the overcooked tripe that was the ‘Miami-style’ Ten West.    

Jetlag, 125 Cleveland St. W1 3370 5838

Liquidnation, 165 Ladbroke Grove W10 8960 1702