I am cooking along with Asia House resident chef Paul Bloomfield and we are planning to cook up a storm in the kitchen. Steve, the owner and DJ of Zensai will be playing some Bollywood Psyc Funk music – cherry on the cake! So it will be an afternoon of food, drinks and fun!
With this ticket you can have any of the 3 dishes below – The portions are big, I am generous with food 🙂
Prohibition/ Live Jazz/ Flapper Dresses/ Men in Suspenders/ Quirky Cocktails – If any of these terms sound vaguely familiar or attractive to you then Night Jar is one bar in London you definitely should pay a visit. It is literally like time travel but without any science involved in it, the only thing you need to do is get yourself a tube to old street roundabout (if you don’t live near there). This place is so ‘cool’ that they don’t even have a sign outside, it literally is a small door in the middle of the hustle bustle of old street shops/ take away’s. You get there and knock on the door (like you were going to visit your friend’s flat) and then you are greeted by a gentleman/ woman (dressed like they belong to the 1920’s) escorting you to the basement.
Once you reach the basement you are taken to a different world all together – you find yourself in a dimly-lit, mysterious speak easy of the 1920s, complete with bartenders wearing suspenders and newsboy caps, curious glass bottles on the various bookshelves lining each wall, and a wooden stage on which a four-piece jazz band was playing their hearts out. Thank god I made an effort to put on a nice dress and some pearls otherwise I would have felt ridiculously under dressed (If you are ever in a mood to dress up, this is where you should go). I made up for my modernism later on by using my cocktail props as hair decoration (see photo above).
There was a live jazz band blasting music and they were mighty good – I took to the dance floor with my friends after I had a couple of those funky looking bad boys (cocktails). I was pining to show off my dancing skills, always wanted to dance to live jazz just like they do in the movies – think Great Gatsby. Coming to the cocktails – they were super fun, decorative (oyster shells, Japanese fans, tumblers, glass coated with cinnamon and chocolate, polo’s pretty much all sorts of weird things) and very very strong. See the photos. Oh you need to make sure you have a reservation – yes you need it! That’s how they rolled in the 1920’s!
You need food to live and a great cocktail to wash it down – this is what Ian said when I asked him to pick between a great meal or a lip smacking cocktail. I cannot agree with him more because even I face this dilemma every time I am out, should I spend more money on food or cocktails. Ahh the first world problems!
Ian Burrell is the Global Rum Ambassador which basically means he is the man you need to go to when you want to find out about Rum and he tours the world talking about Rum and making cocktails, when I say world I mean literally because he has even been to Antarctica and set up a pop up Rum shack there. He now owns Cottons, the rum shack and restaurant in Camden where they also serve delicious Caribbean food. Besides being the cocktail and rum expert Ian is also an Actor, Rapper and Basketball player – talk about wearing different hats. Phew!
So when I asked him for a lay man’s guide to making a professional cocktail he said you need to remember 5 different elements (yeah he treats cocktails like chemistry he said) because the best cocktails are punches! So here is the basic recipe to make the best cocktails!
3. Strong – Obviously any spirit, but according to Ian – Rum!
4. Weak – Coke, Soda, Juice, whatever floats your boat!
5. Spice – To make it nice, that is what they say in the Caribbean – Cinnamon, Chilly, Cardamom and likes.
Shake these 5 elements up with some crushed ice and impress your next guest!
When I asked him to make me a cocktail, he made this exotic litchi cocktail and I must say, being a non-rum lover I absolutely LOVED it. I must say, I was a very anti rum person till I met Ian and he definitely convinced me otherwise, i had a great time chatting with him at his bar Cottons Camden, you must visit and try their cocktails.