Found doesn’t go in for frills – in fairness, they don’t really have the space to. After descending the steep staircase to this matchbox bar, you’ll spend five minutes remarking on how surprisingly busy it is, even for a Thursday, before realising there’s only eight other people in the room.
Venue and Atmosphere
There’ll be no cat swinging in here, and certainly no swinging of anything else. Run by Oskar Klimaszewski, who is the face, brains and brawn of the operation, it’s a simple case of be polite, wait your turn, smile, order drink, get drink – rinse and repeat until suitably merry.
“I’ve only got a couple of rules,” explains Oskar, “don’t be a dick, and you can only hit on someone once.” It’s a code of law that has served Found well. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming as Oskar greets every guest that steps through the door. With its dim lighting, dark corners and cosy alcoves, it’s the perfect location for a hot date, so I took the hottest date there is – my best friend.
I would never call myself a Negroni expert, but I’m certainly an enthusiast. When I see the Desert Negroni my heart leaps a little. I then remember that it’s healthy to try new things, and opt for the Curious George, a bourbon cocktail laced with Chambord (£9) while the BFF goes for the Frothy Lady, a mix of gin, peach, elderflower and egg white (£9).
We tuck ourselves into an alcove and settle into a lengthy catch up with more cackling than wholly appropriate – but what are bars like Found for if not spilling secrets? The cocktails slip away as quickly as the names of my BFF’s tinder dates. The Curious George is a clever little thing - sweet and acidic, balanced out by an earthy after-taste. The Frothy Lady is a much daintier number, probably intended to be sipped, but so delicious that it goes down a little too easily.
The quality of the cocktails does not come as a huge surprise, Oskar is one of London’s master mixologists, having worked at bars around the city since 2005. Home, which sits directly above Found is another one of Oskar's ventures, formerly the much-loved Casita where he worked for around eight years before it closed in August 2016.
For the next round, I finally get my hands on a glass of that Desert Negroni (£9) and as suspected it is a thing of wonder, the bittersweet cocktail given an extra caustic kick by the presence of Mezcal.
Just as we are about to leave, Oskar arrives with complementary shots: his own recipe of two-parts bourbon, one-part peach, served in miniature cut-glass tumblers. It’s a delicious and none-too-innocent concoction that will leave you stumbling the short walk to Old Street.
Small, simple and laid back, Found is a cunning hideaway in the middle of hectic Shoreditch. A place made for cackles and cracking jokes, as much as secrets and sweet nothings, it’s a perfect location for whenever you’re feeling a really good cocktail, without the fuss.