“This is not a brothel, there are no prostitutes at this address”.
Somewhat disappointed but having found the brass plaque on the wall outside emblazoned with the writing ‘Basement Sate’, this was definitely the right place, despite the door statement. Drinks and desserts anyone? Absolutely.
With all the makings of a seedy, subterranean bar Basement Sate lead the wave of dessert bars arriving in the City fusing the chic outfit of a French patisserie with the dark fancy of a cocktail bar. Bringing a touch of luxe Parisienne to London’s drinking scene, Basement Sate is washed with brooding interiors, exposed brickwork and vintage styled leather seats. With an ambiance owed to candlelight and dark woods, this is a seductive little date spot if I ever knew one. The space is kept minimal, sultry in character and intimate in conversation with cosy booths and tables for two taking up most of the floor plan.
The Food & Drink
“Sate” (verb): to satisfy (a desire or appetite) to the full. Most definitely.
Pairing drinks and dessert = pure genius. The open kitchen next to the bar is a secluded little peek into the skillful pastry and cake makings of this bar where we could see plump macaroons being popped out and smooth creams being whisked up.
We started with the drinks (of course) where a round of King Boo (£9) and Nutty Boy (£8) were first up. The cocktail menu reflects the whole atmosphere of the bar: refined, tailored and sleek. Nothing over-complicates or clouds the spirit. The mix of scotch whisky, mint syrup and peat in King Boo is one of smooth, punchy taste with just the right hint of smoke. Whereas the Nutty Boy’s blend of white rum, luxardo maraschino and vanilla syrup had a kick with a hint of sweetness to the after taste. Their cocktail menu is built around the taste of the liquor and uses dashes of creative syrups to heighten the base.
Now for the puddings; decadent by nature, light in texture and melt in the mouth moments. With a ‘savour each spoon’ mentality towards these desert creations you feel like you’re experiencing edible art. We kicked things off with a Peanut Butter Jelly Time (£8). Looking as gourmet as it did glorious, you’ll experience the indulgent taste of peanut butter joconde cake & chantilly with a milk chocolate mousse and banana & vanilla cremeux. Light on the palate and the perfect harmony of sweet and nutty. Next up was The Pav (£6); impeccably presented, this picture of meringue filled with white chocolate & vanilla chantilly berries and then topped with pimm's & strawberry coulis was a piece of pure palatable heaven.
Somewhere between a French boudoir and cool basement niche, you'll find not only cocktail supping and pudding picks here. Open until 1:30am on the weekends, this dark fantasy of a dessert bar knocks out tunes until late with DJs taking to their decks. The atmosphere is intimate, close and private enough for a date night scenario or indulgent evening all around.
Although pudding may not be your first port of call when going out for cocktails, the indulgent nature of Basement Sate will have you craving the crème de la crème of patisserie whether you like it or not (but you will like it). Satisfying the Oxford Dictionary definition of Sate, this Soho basement is a decadent dose of mixology and puddings in the most chic of settings. There's no need for ladies of the night here when the desserts take centre stage.