There’s a real problem in the city for those of us who are afflicted with a sweet tooth. Where do you go when the pudding urge hits, and where is it acceptable to just eat desserts and still feel classy?
Someone clearly must have the same problem, as recently a number of dessert bars have been popping up across London, serving not only the sweet stuff, but cocktails too. LO:PA just had to check out one of the most talked about – Basement Sate. Tucked away in the heart of Soho, Basement Sate can only be found if you look very, very carefully.
A small gold plaque marks the spot, and through this inconspicuous doorway stairs lead down into the candlelit bar. The interiors and warm and inviting, with bare brick walls, hidden corners and plenty of leather sofas to sink into, this is a spot that you can easily settle in for the night.
Devised by Head Bartender Byly Tran, the cocktail list is unusual, and needs some serious exploring. Deciding on which one to have is the real problem, as drinks range from classic concoctions to the wilder options. There is something here for all tastes, for instance, those who want to keep to their Vitamin C levels topped up should go for the ‘Jessica Rabbit’ – a heady mix of Gin, golden syrup, elderflower and carrot juice.
Another highlight was the ‘Take it Sloe’ which takes the summer flavours of Sloe Gin and pairs them with Umeshu, vanilla syrup and a punchy hit of Absinthe. Basement State also embraces the current uprising of Sherry with their ‘Her Cocktail’ a delicious drink made with Irish Whisky, Dry Vermouth, Amontillado Sherry and Luxardo Maraschino.
As we all should have learnt by now, no one should drink on an empty stomach, so whilst sipping on the alcoholic creations, take the time to peruse the right hand side of the menu – the dessert side. Recently appointed pastry chef Kelly Nadjarian brings with her a wealth of experience from across the channel, working with Pierre Herme in the luxurious Le Royale Monceau Hotel, as well as in London establishments such as the exclusive Morton’s Club in Mayfair.
Her skill and passion is evident, and the menu here is short but oh so sweet. The ‘Break an Egg’ looks suspiciously like an eggs benny but is actually an explosion of fresh tropical flavours; a light coconut mousse is topped with lime and passion fruit curd and joined with a generous amount of crumble and small bursts of passion fruit jelly. The only minor problem with this dessert is sharing it! Save space for the real showstopper though – the ‘Kinder Surprise’.
A chocolate sphere cleverly hides a whole array of naughtiness – brownies, tonka whipped cream, hazelnuts and a heavenly praline foam. Desserts here are made to surprise, to make you laugh and satisfy even the sweetest of tooths. Make sure you stay put as post-pudding entertainment is provided by one of the resident DJs takes charge and provides tunes to take you into the small hours of the morning. What more could you ask for?
Basement Sate is open for desserts, cocktails and cutting edge DJs from Monday – Saturday 6pm -1:30am. They are now running personalised Pastry classes every Wednesday from 1-4pm (for groups of up to six). For those who want to learn a little more about the drinks on offer, cocktail classes run at 4pm on Friday and anytime after 3pm on Saturday.
Where: 8 Broadwick Street, W1F 8HN (look for the red door!)