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Saturday, 12 November 2016

Burlock, Marylebone
















This new basement rum room -previously naff nightspot Noir -  across the street from Selfridges back door was set to be called The Plantation. But that was before pressure groups piped up: "Commemorate places where slaves suffered? How very dare Yu? That's 'Yu' as in Eric, the bar's personable egalitarian owner whose other joints include inscrutable Chinatown den, Opium, and 68 and Boston on Greek Street. In our prescriptive PC world, must we now also boycott Plantation rum? for that's the base for Burlock’s creamy, white, minty Grasshopper, one of various cracking Caribbean and Creole classic cocktails whose names are - purely by coincidence rather than by some dark design, I wager - equally controversial. Take 'Rum-Ember' The Maine; a Mezan XO rum twist on the 1930s whiskey classic whose unbastardised title references the sinking of a ship, the USS Maine, that proved to be the flashpoint for the Spanish-American War in which thousands perished. Or Canchanchara, a white rum antecedent of 20s gin job Bee’s Knees, a drink invented to fortify locals throughout Cuba's Ten Year War with Spain. Whatever! In Yu's darkened 30s Havana parlour whose decor was presumably bought on E-Bay from Fidel Castro’s granny, lock, stock and ahem, 'plantation' shutters (as flogged in the Mail on Sunday magazine, so utterly PC clearly) punters, oblivious to such PC considerations, dive in to fishbowls and jiggle to fat funky beats played by DJs who will doubtless risk having that po-faced Dame, Chami Chakrabarti, and pontificating left-wing puffball Diane Abbott down on them like a ton of bricks if they so much as reach for a track by 70s soul brothers, Slave.

31 Duke Street W1U 1LG 7935 3303 www.burlock.co.uk