Thursday, 24 February 2011
Time was when, clocking a sleb - as at pukka Indian, The Red Fort, tonight - I’d insinuate myself into their presence, ply them with cocktails until we became newest bestest friends, then sneak in a sly ‘so, Sandra Bernhard, did you and Madge really tip the velvet?’ But nowadays, no star’s CV is complete without some rumoured girl-on-girl action, so why bother? Hence, Sandra dines, unprobed, oblivious to the gossip ferret in the room. Urging me visit The Fort’s new downstairs bar, Zenna, its persuasive PR mermaids lure me onto the rocks. Numerous icy libations launch what will become a fatal Titanic bender. I can’t determine what’s actually ‘new’ here; Zenna seems a carbon copy of what was previously Akbar - give or take a few (apparently expensive), camp metallic leather tuffets that suggest the sort of pew Paris Hilton’s Pomeranian might park its pampered posterior on. What has changed, is the cocktail offer. Adroitly assembled by Dan (ex-Nobu) Thomson, chai tea martini, pineapple and sage mojito and Indian whisky sour are Soho basement bargains at £6. Don’t fall for Dan’s ‘fancy a spicy mai tai alternative?’ line. For that’ll be Illiana, served with a ‘fire extinguisher’ (a gin cooler) on the side - and then, only if you sign an indemnity waiver. Delhi belly? Chilli willy! You do well to avoid, Sandra.
77 Dean Street W1 7437 2525 http://www.zenna-bar.co.uk/