The Charles - a brandy and sweet vermouth-based number I've enjoyed in numerous drinking dens - is a prince among cocktails. In honou...
Friday, 4 April 2014
TMF Bar, Chinatown
‘Liquor and strife’ is the mission statement of sharp-shaker Matt Whiley (ex Zuma/ Purl/ Worship Street Whistling Shop). His pop-up residency at One Leicester Street has turned into a full-time gig, making this townhouse hotel’s lounge bar a Chinatown go-to for smart noodles in search of cutting-edge cocktails and tasty bar snacks. ‘Strife’ is unlikely in such an upscale lair but TMF (aka The Talented Mr Fox, Whiley’s alter ego) is a liquor pimp whose turbo-charged tootsies could cause school night carnage: so caveat emptor when ordering full-on fixes infused with gubbins more usually associated with Heston wanna-Bs or B-list slebs in the jungle (ants, if not Dec, one possible ingredient you'll encounter). Innovative and restless, expect the TMF’s menu to change faster than you can say "Basil Brush": get ready for a repertoire that includes pig’s blood and black pudding bloody Mary; toasted rye whisky bread and butter flip; white ape (sweetcorn and cornflake distillate, Kamm and Sons bitters, and Cocchi di Torino); or, for £11, what is essentially boozy liquified Christmas pudding? What exotica informs a ‘pepper Middleton?’ Who gives a Fox? Suspend disbelief, dive in and enjoy! Who not to invite? Dr. Liam Fox: Guy Fawkes; Foxy Knoxy.