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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Old Bengal Warehouse, City

Many of D and D's numerous London’s restaurants also include worthwhile bars. Each in its own way, the likes of Le Coq d’Argent (chic roof garden); Floridita (Mad Men-era Havana supper club); and Skylon (postcard-perfect vista and matching cocktails) make my ‘old standby’ list. To this, add the bar at the Old Bengal Warehouse, the group’s autumn City launch. Set in a simpatico conversion of grade II-listed premises in which the East India Company once stored Georgian-day necessities - tea, silks, opium - this seductive, low-lit, tobacco-tone lounge works beautifully. Its focus, a butch bar with high stools, is staffed by on-the-ball blokes who might double as Hugo Boss models. At around £9.50, rinses such as Pisco and Aperol sour, Martini with a Spot (of absinthe), Cider House Rules and Tequila New Fashion are top drawer. I don’t know about Damson In Distress (a whisky and damson liquor flip); but after a potent Martinez (and sundry similar ingestions), this old Bengal lancer (as in Cockney for ‘chancer’) is in barfly-on-a-bender territory. Fortunately, pukka snacks, ‘tiffin’ boxes, lobster cocktail and burger with dopiaza onions and tamarind chutney act as damage limitation. I also hazily recall a smart all-weather courtyard. Well, that’s my excuse for a repeat reccie.
16 New Street EC2M 4TR 3503 0780