Cocktail bars are two a penny these days – they’re ubiquitous, popping up at every corner slinging out all manner of concoctions. But, that being said, many of them are a bit… samey. So, I’ve been on the hunt for a spot that offers a little je ne sais quoi, and it wasn’t long until my eyes fell on Lucy Wong in Fitzrovia, from the same team behind Opium and Salvador & Amanda.
Situated just off Oxford Street, away from the hordes barraging the shops, this watering hole was surprisingly clandestine. Found down a few steps, with only a small sign stating its whereabouts, it felt deliciously mysterious and oh-so-cool. Inside, it was very funky – kind of like a 1950s Chinese vibe – with dangling lanterns overhead, intimate lighting and vintage artwork lining the walls. Though it happened to be pretty quiet for a Friday, I could see that lots of tables were reserved for later in the evening, when the DJ would come out to play.
We sat in an elegant red booth, illuminated warmly by a cute personal light, then cast our eyes over the signature cocktail list - classics with a ‘Lucy Wong’ twist - although you can find all of the usual suspects on a separate menu too. I kicked off with an Eastern Sour (£13.50), made up of The Orientalist Origins vodka, thyme liqueur, raspberry shrub, lime, rhubarb bitters and egg white. The aromatic drink arrived short and frothy, offering a deep but delightfully tangy flavour. My pal had the Pomelo Sling (£13), which perfectly balanced Ojo de Dios hibiscus mezcal and St-Germain elderflower liqueur with pink grapefruit, pomelo and pink pepper tonic.
Intrigue piqued, we ordered another round of tipples. My Kowloon Krush (£14) was a punchy concoction featuring Ming River Sichuan Baijiu, Fair kumquat liqueur and falernum, served in a classy tumbler. On the other side of the table, my friend chose the Shanghai 75 (£14.50) - a spin on the French 75. It was tall and elegant, marrying Ukiyo Yuzu gin, The Orientalist Gunpowder gin, Kwai Feh lychee liqueur, house yuzu citrus mix, lemongrass syrup and prosecco. The subtle blue hue and fresh lychee garnish made it all the more appealing.
But we weren't just here for a liquid dinner - we needed something to eat too. We opted for a dim sum basket (£24) to share, which featured freshly steamed dumplings; siu mai, har gau, mushroom and truffle, crab and samphire, plus monk vegetables. Every bite was delightful, with my favourite being the crab and samphire, although I thought the truffle in the mushroom one was a little overpowering. Alongside these, we feasted on crispy pork belly (£13) and the signature fried rice (£7). The beef was crisp as can be, although a little on the dry side, and the egg fried rice could have used a little more seasoning. We decided to finish off with a couple of Tommy’s margaritas (£13 each), a classic creation blending Ocho Blanco tequila, lime and agave for a delicious heady end to the evening.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Lucy Wong provided my pal and I with the perfect place to enjoy a little chinwag. We had fun exploring the classic cocktails with an East Asian twist and, while some of the food didn't quite hit the spot, the dumplings were unique and delicious. If you're looking for an intimate date night bar or somewhere to enjoy a tipple or two come Friday evening, this Fitzrovia newbie has got you covered.
💰 The damage: Around £125 for three cocktails each and nibbles.
📍 The location: 33-34 Rathbone Place, W1T 1JN.
👌 Perfect for: Date nights and after-work cocktails.
⭐ Need to know: They host DJs on the weekends.
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