Bacon eccentricities, a hankering for Gin laced drinks and an eccentric eatery with a hidden basement speakeasy? It was about time this slice of Kensington cool was taken for a spin. Hello Streaky Gin.
Perched just off Kensington High Street's main road, Streaky Gin's yellow awning guards a humbly-sized space. The glowing light bulb emblazoned 'GIN' sign hanging above the bar steals your attention; along with the juxtaposing dark wooden furnishings and bright flower brandished wallpapers. The main eatery is a blend of English countryside charm and American ranch stylings with elegant light features and mirrors adorning the walls whilst the bar stools take on the form of rich, brown saddles straight out of a Country Western. You'll find antlers and bull horns bringing a rodeo type edge to the space and then find a quintessential red telephone box, like something straight off London's streets, in the corner of the room where a staircase is revealed behind the door.
Step inside the telephone box and descend the steep, tight stairway clad in wallpaper printed like a bookcase and you'll discover the dimly lit speakeasy lair. Vintage trunks, saddle seat bar stools and dim down lighting characterise this den. The deep red wallpaper adorned with golden stencilled stags nods towards some Deep South Americana influence channelling prohibition attitude. Altogether this place oozes cool and intimate.
The Food & Drink
Although the menu is shy on options you'll find offerings from Mexican, American and British cuisines so there should be something that tickles your fancy. The Street Tacos took my calling and the big beefy burger my companions. For £13 a little more substance to the Tacos meal was expected - what arrived before me was something more of a starter portion with just 3 small wraps. That being said, they were fantastically tasty and lived up to their description. But, for the same price I would suggest delving into the Streaky's Dream Burger ordered by my partner which was definitely worth the pounds and a sufficient main to keep that tummy from rumbling. I was tempted by Grandma Mary's Triple Cooked Chips to hanger any hunger pangs remaining, but for an oh-so cheeky fiver, the cocktails came out for dessert instead.
One Tequila laced Cheeky Monkey and one Rum based Miami Vice comin' right up. Both punchy, made to a T and the perfect refreshment for our Thursday night escapade. Having missed the boat on their Happy Hour ending at 8pm, we continued down the traditional Mojito route. Always a test of true cocktail craft - this simple, standard house favourite is slurpy heaven when knocked up well, but when done wrong is rife with disappointment. Not to fear, the boys behind the Streaky bar knew their mixology so this was a minty success. As for the infamous Streaky Gin, the luring ingredient of this golden bar nugget seemingly evaded my clutches. As did the Orgasmic cocktail served with a side of crispy bacon, which was sadly not available. Alas, something to go back for at least!
The Atmosphere & Clientele
Somewhat disappointingly for a Thursday night, we were the only revellers to grace this petite pad. But, it should be noted January is a time for hibernation and recuperation so perhaps a weekend venture would be more suited until that winter feeling is shed and the sun comes out to play. I can imagine in the summer, this place is a thriving hubbub of tangy cocktails, punchin' tunes and finger lickin' foods. Streaky Gin has all the credentials for a cheeky tipple of two with mates or weekend lounging sesh so it's worth checking this place out in it's summer element or even just a busy Saturday.
All in all, this Kensington plot is a delightful den of bespoke bar features, custom decor and a hankering for American Westerns. If you're prepared to pay a premium on the nosh and liquor laced goods at this haunt then you'll revel in the W8 postcode and find yourself some American/British fusion foods that tick satisfy all the usual cravings.