With a name like Bull in a China Shop my instant thoughts ran along the lines of the Orient, unpredictable (in theme, tastes and cocktail mixes), quirky (as per Shoreditch tradition) and housed within a small renovated shop…
Opposite Boxpark Shoreditch is an old tea shop dressed in black and decorated with white silhouettes of crowds to tempt any curious walkers-by to sneak a peek inside. Now about to find what lies behind the door, my first view is of the copper surfaced bar with a mix of Japanese and Scottish procured Whiskies decking the back mirrored wall. An eclectic mix of interior; painted brick walls, orientally inspired art and decorative touches brings the intimate room alive. My favourite little touch is the cute Chinese bamboo umbrellas and red tea lights lined up against a white half wall, separating the bar and a cosy little seating area.
Clientele & Atmosphere
Taking the last two seats at the bar, we were instantly offered a glass of ice cold water - a very nice and appreciated little touch. Sitting alongside a group of city Whisky loving professionals, it was great to see the manager showing off his knowledge of the range on offer and really listening to the guys likes and dislikes in taste, to determine which Whisky they should try next. Checking out the Bull on a Tuesday, it was a steady evening of couples and friends popping in for a cocktail or two and a few having a bite to eat. The smell of the ‘Rotisserie chicken – Brined with ginger, marinated overnight in Asian yoghurt with a Nikka whisky glaze’ (half chicken: £10.50), filled the room and was a popular choice on the night.
Renowned for its Whisky Cocktails, there was no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t going to leave without trying at least two from the specially curated menu. The first on my radar - Wabi/Sabi - comprised the Hakushu Single malt distiller’s reserve as the base ingredient and mixed with Cocchi vermouth di Torino, Matcha green tea syrup, black walnut bitters (£12). And my friend sticking to her love of an ‘Old Fashioned; decided to test the Bulls twist on the classic - ‘Chamomile and charcoal old fashioned - Nikka Yoichi, homemade chamomile syrup, bitters, coconut charcoal, finished with an orange twist’ (£12). Both cocktails were bold in flavour, and took a couple of sips for all the flavours to settle on the palette, it only took the first sip however for us to start feeling the affects of these strong beauties. Each cocktail was decorated with herbs and spices and if tasting a Whisky on the rocks you will be treated to a specially carved diamond ice cube to add that extra little personal touch.
This little den could not be better located than in Shoreditch and sure seems to attract a mixed crowd. Excited to learn, Bull In A China Shop is open as an all day eatery serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails, I will be returning for a weekend brunch. With my expectations set from the delicious cocktail and dinner options, I know I will be in for an almighty treat.