Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bar Review: Basement Sate, Soho

This review is a guest post from the wonderful guys at Social and Cocktail - you can view more of their guest posts here.

The Lowdown: Celebrating all things sweet and decadent, Basement Sate puts pudding first. This concept bar invites you to indulge by heading out for dessert and a cocktail - or to drop in after dinner for a relaxed change of scenery.

Where: This sleek and stylish basement bar is a newbie on the Soho scene. Located on Broadwick Street it is easily walkable from either Oxford Circus or Piccadilly. Like all cool hangouts, the outside signage is subtle so look out for the brass plaque and head down the stairs into this secretive underground lair.

First Thing You Notice: The low-level lighting teamed with copper-top tables gives the setting a warm and inviting glow and along with rich furnishings and uber-cool interior pieces, you realise there must be a serious design team behind this. Find sanctuary within a dark-panelled snug or lounge on a velvet-covered sofa and prepare for an evening of indulgence.

What You’ll Tell Your Friends: The dessert menu has been created by Pastry Chef Dorian Picard, who has previously worked with the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Pascal Aussignac, so rest assured that you're in good (and talented) hands. Dorian has expertly matched the desserts to the cocktails, after being inspired by the unique flavours and subtle undertones of the carefully-crafted cocktail menu.

Atmosphere: A rarely-achieved warm and welcoming meets cool and chic, Basement Sate has struck the balance between being in a place where you feel relaxed but also where you feel special. It has a calm buzz that brings to mind sophisticated Parisian charm.

Decor: Raw, exposed brickwork lends a rustic simplicity to the overall look, but teamed with polished interiors and gorgeous living room furniture designed by Fleming and Howland, the decor exudes style and luxury.

Creative Concept: The brains behind this outfit is Cathleen McGarry, co-owner of Sherry Butt in Paris, and her vision was to bring something new to London's diverse drinking scene and for people to enjoy a few expertly-made cocktails and exquisite desserts in a cool but comfortable environment.

So You’re Thirsty: Less is often more and Basement Sate offers a dynamically-designed list of twelve cocktails, that feature premium spirits and unique ingredients such as salted caramel, champagne syrup and wakame infused vermouth. Proving that desserts needn't be paired with overly-sweet dessert wine, try something fresher like the Beet Me Up, which uses beetroot and ginger to tantalise the palate.

Hungry Too? With a mouth-watering list of seven delectable desserts, there is something here for every kind of sweet tooth. The Chocolatine is a must for chocolate-lovers, showcasing the best of what the cocoa bean can create, and if you like something a little zingier, the Parfait Cassis with its blackcurrant parfait, sablé breton and Tahitian marshmallow is pure heaven.

Don’t leave without trying: Be brave and try The Salty Granny. More on the savoury side of things, it marries Japanese ingredients with quintessential English flavours, like the Granny Smith, and is the perfect tipple to cut through the deliciously sweet mouthfuls.

Prices Please: With desserts ranging between £8 and £11 and cocktails starting at £9 and ending at £13, a sweet treat here is definitely affordable at any time of the evening. Such an intriguing menu might even tempt one to suggest ordering a few to share...

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