An attractive offshoot of the feted Cinnamon Kitchen, Anise is an elegant bar lounge, hidden away amongst the glossy cobbles of Devonshire Square. This Indian-inspired watering-hole is a hop, skip and a jump away from Liverpool Street and is certainly worth its spice for a stylish evening out in The City.
Class without pretence. Established upon the grounds of the former East India Company’s premises, it’s apt to find throwbacks to the Sub-Continent. Anise is adjacent to Cinnamon Kitchen but evidently holds its own.
Entering through a separate staircase, we were greeted by soft lighting and a subtle décor, reminiscent of the British Raj; Industrial-chic ceilings, luxuriant hues of indigo and gold and a glittering array of Asiatic lanterns. There are two main lounge areas, divided by a large, four cornered bar and overlooked by a few romantic window booths. It was a lovely, intimate atmosphere which didn’t sacrifice space to breathe.
Up until 9th January, there’s also a charming ‘Ski Lodge area’. It’s one seating area, decorated with sparkling garlands, chunky cable-knit throws and frosted mirrors. It’s an endearing space that’s added something a little more special for the festive season.
Cocktails & Bar Snacks
Delicious! The cocktails were exotic and generously-measured, as were the snacks a far cry from the usual arsenal of crisps and nuts. I enjoyed a tall Lady Yang (gin, lychee and lemon, lavender) at £8 and my friend a Raspberry Fizz (strawberries, raspberries, prosecco, hibiscus) at £12. We feasted on generous plates of juicy ‘hot and sweet’ prawn skewers with mango dip (£6.50), lamb shami kebabs, served with paprika raita (£6) and Keralan fried chicken, accompanied by curried yoghurt (£5). The snacks could easily replace an evening meal, if you have a small to medium-sized appetite.
Atmosphere and Clientele
There was a generally young professional vibe, with more than a few City workers looking to unwind. We arrived around 7pm on a Friday and the bar was already suitably lively. I liked the DJ's choice of unobtrusive house music for a contemporary ambiance. One of the large areas was occupied by an engagement party, there were groups of City workers scattered around and couples cosying in the window seats. Some were simply having an aperitif before heading over to Cinnamon for dinner.
It’s clear the staff make an effort with the clientele. They’re attentive, relaxed and friendly. Professional recommendations floated around and the warm welcome seemed to extend right across the bar.
Classy, fun and chilled. A really great place for a date, stylish gathering or party. I liked Anise so much I couldn’t resist booking my own Christmas gathering there.