In the basement of Jason Atherton’s Sosharu lies a hidden den called the 7 Tales bar. Head down the stairs and through the curtain and it’s as if Tokyo has come to Clerkenwell.
This cocktail bar in Clerkenwell oozes a sexy, cool elegance through the neon lights, low tables and cartoon manga-esque wallpaper along with hip-hop beats pumping in the background.
At first glance the cocktail menu can be slightly confusing, but as explained by our lovely barman each drink is a Japanese twist on a classic.
The boys stuck to the classics, favouring well executed old fashioneds – Woodford Reserve and a mighty large block of ice.
I’d heard on the grapevine of a ‘special’ the bar served, so there was only one drink on the agenda for me – The Champagne Papi. Presented with an unfinished drink, a fizzing glass of Perrier-Jouet, umeshu (Japanese plum liqueur) and a banana infusion. We were given a token and instructions on how to complete the drink.
The token was inserted into a colourful vending machine in exchange for a plastic egg containing a chinese proverb and an absinthe-laced sugar cube. For a few seconds it was like I was five again and being given my first Kinder.
Once dunked, we were both slightly underwhelmed by the lack of action.
Taste wise it was quite sour and I’m not sure where the banana flavour was hiding, but it wasn’t in my drink. I’d recommend waiting until the whole sugar cube has melted before slurping. The flavour definitely improves.
For more gimmicks don’t forget to check out the Toto toilets, my derriere was highly pleased with the heated seat action!
You’re not going to go far wrong ordering bar snacks from a Jason Atherton restaurant. We refrained from the tempting menu as we were dining at the restaurant. It didn’t stop me from having a quick look though, wagyu beef skewers, squid tempura and chicken karaage headline. If you’re a veggie – you’re in some trouble. I’d suggest you swerve the bar snacks and concentrate on working your way through the drinks menu.
7 Tales Bar Clerkenwell is more than just a restaurant bar, it’s a bar you go and hang out in and be one of the cool kids. I loved the vibe in the dimly lit underground den I reckon I’ll be back for more.
Do you have a favourite cocktail? Or a place that transports you to a far off land? Let me know in the comments box below.
7 Tales Bar | 64 Turnmill Street | London | EC1M 5RR
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