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Spring has definitely sprung across the capital so we’re looking for lighter drinks, lusher lunches and flavours, and venues that make the most of the longer daylight. Across London, restaurant chefs are changing up their menus to match this accordingly – here are our current three favourites.
Roast Chicken Kiev at Coin Laundry
From the outside Coin Laundry is a somewhat unassuming building on the corner of culinary hotspot Exmouth Market. The interior is reminiscent of an 70s East London cafe, without the regular chatter of cockney. Instead vintage coin machines adorn the décor hinting at what could have been one of the venue’s previous uses. The Grace Jones pop art hints at an LGBT-friendly venue and we certainly did not feel unwelcome at any point. Also, there is a basement bar with a huge variety of boardgames if you’re in the mood to get your geek on.
What sets Coin Laundry apart is the Sunday lunch menu – including a chicken option, which is not just any roast, but half a chicken that has been turned into a chicken Kiev. The roast is presented as a crisp, breaded half chicken, kept moist with pockets of the garlicky Kiev interior throughout. Served with a Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and a small portion of greens (as there isn’t much room left on the plate with all the chicken), you will be hard-pressed to finish everything. A side dish of cauliflower cheese is also served for good measure.
Coin Laundry is located at 70 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QP.
Barrio Brixton is the latest addition to the brand, which currently has outfits in Angel, Soho and Shoreditch. Barrio’s love of tequilas, mezcals, piscos and rums offers sunny spirits. What really stood out as our favourite, very drinkable cocktail was the South Sea Sour (£8.50), made from Beefeater Gin, Cointreau, pineapple, grenadine, lemon and bitters.
Between the group’s head chef Ernesto Paiva and the Brixton head chef Heath McDonald, the menu combines Peruvian heritage with Baja
Mexican cuisine, packed with salmon ceviche, ox heart anticucho, and a grilled pork belly bun. As well as evening dining, Barrio Brixton offer a delicious brunch (an ideal hangover cure from the previous night’s antics). Barrio offered us banana loaf with a rich smoked butter, La Florentina (a Mexican twist on eggs Florentine with jalepeno corn muffin, spinach, kale and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce), their version of hues rancheros (a culmination of crispy tortilla chips, fried eggs, re-fried beans, avocado salsa ranchera, feta and pico de gallo) and an essential side of guac and chips. The mix of spice, flavour and carbs absorbed the leftover alcohol and reinvigorated our energy levels for the day ahead.
Whether you want to dine in a customised vintage caravan, or on the terrace, Barrio Brixton’s interior, adorned by work from local artists is something to admire whilst dining.
Barrio Brixton is located at 30 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SG.
K Bar at The Kensington
K Bar at The Kensington hotel is the newest cocktail destination in the chic London borough. This newly refurbished bar has partnered with cocktail connoisseur Ben Manchester (previously of Hotel du Vin, Brighton) to produce a dessert cocktail menu. Here at Vada, we strolled into the oak-panelled gentlemen’s club interior and sank back into a leather armchair before embarking on the difficult decision of which dessert cocktail to try first.
From the menu of cocktails (each £10), our favourites were the Creme Brûlée Martini (made from vanilla-infused Havana Club Especial, caramel syrup and double cream) and the Chocolate Elit (mixed from Stolichnaya Elit Vodka, Mozart Chocolate Liqueur, Antica Formula and of course chocolate bitters). The smooth creaminess of the former with delicate flavours (twice or three times over) could easily replace a dessert; whereas the adult sophistication of the latter was the perfect way to round off a dinner. The Lemon Tart Flip – about to be added to the menu – was reminiscent of a lemon meringue pie – a delicious alcoholic alternative/addition to dessert.
For those looking for a new cocktail venue, why not head to K-Bar and try the new menu out.
K-Bar at The Kensington, 109-113 Queen’s Gate, London, SW7 5LR.