Sep 22, 2010

No love for Loungelover

So I began my explorative forray into London cocktail joints last night, with a rather disappointing visit to Loungelover. Part of the Les Trois Garcons conglomerate, it shares that little corner with the Boundary, and Shoreditch House.

Now I guess the perfect expression to sum up the place is, as my lovely germanic friend Regina likes to say, "Möchtegern". Wannabe. It's a super hyped, overly decorated ambience, "sleek hostess" and all.

The decoration is a pimped up asian affair, an ecletic extravaganza, which doesn't really survive a closer inspection. Lots of mismatched objects, in bright colours, splattered all over the space, mish mash, haphazard. But all in all, it's a nice enough space. The crowd on tuesday was a bit more burly banker than I would have preferred, but it's very close to the city, and rather inevitable.

The menu here consists of a large selection of cocktails, and a selection of sushi dishes. I diligently tasted three cocktails, and my date had another few, so all in all we sampled about six cocktails.

The Long Island Ice Tea was lovely, on a tall glass, well mixed, not too strong. I started off with a champagne cocktail, the Loungelover, to get the ball rolling, you know. A soft, well-balanced mix of "fig liqueur, sweet vanilla and zesty lemon oil finished with Loungelover Champagne".

I then had two cocktails mixed with egg whites, which sounds perhaps a bit odd, but i love the frothy effect. They do them marvelously at Milk and Honey. First, the Noblesse Oblige, pink grapefruit juice, gin, egg white and lemon. The flavours were lovely, tart, not too acidic. But the frothy delight, nowhere to be found. A waste of a perfectly good egg white. Somewhere, a sad hen sobs the waste of her hopeful albumen. Huh, sorry, poetic license.

I then moved on to a Goose Berry, "Raspberries shaken with Snow Queen vodka, Framboise and orange liqueur with cranberry, egg white and lime juices". Once again, nice flavours, though a bit muddled, bit sweet. But our hen cried another bitter tear, no frothy fanfarre.

We also sampled "a star is born", and an impeccable daiquiri. But all in all, I found the menu a bit convoluted, and the drinks always on the sweet side. Like fancy jello shots.

Maybe my idea of a cocktail bar is outdated, more speakeasy than loungey, but I found the whole experience a bit cheesy and forced.

The quest continues!


No. 1 Whitby Street
London E1 6JU

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