While we can’t resist pigging out on Five Guys, grabbing lunch to go from Greggs and scouring the shelves of Lidl for bargain bites, when it comes to cocktails, my partner and I are, well… snobs. We’ll take a perfectly stirred old fashioned or clarified concoction any day of the week. So, when I scrolled through my Insta feed and saw that hordes of London’s top bartenders were checking out Silverleaf, we had to see what the fuss was about.
Grabbing a couple of Beigel Bake’s finest salt beef bagels on a Wednesday after work, we walked from Brick Lane towards the City – with dinner to go and cocktails on the brain. Part of the recently opened Pan Pacific hotel that towers opposite Liverpool Street Station, Silverleaf is hidden away in the neighbouring Devonshire House. We entered the all-white building, took an elevator up and were greeted with a stunning scene.
Designed by Tom Dixon (you’ll know his work from Coal Office in King's Cross), the interiors are pared back yet luxurious, moody but elegant, rich and neutral all at the same time. Think plush banquette seating matched with corner booths, an eye-catching central bar and fixtures that look as if they've been plucked straight out of Architectural Digest.
So the décor had me at hello, but how about the menu itself? Covering 10 flavour profiles, from dry to herbaceous and romantic, the cocktail list ‘takes influence from naturalism’ – with each drink (all cocktails are £15) centred on core ingredients. We’re talking pre-batched mixes and crisp creations. First up for me – the pineapple miso. Using the key, I deduced that this would give rich, aromatic, mineral, wood flavours… and fusing Craigellachie 13 whisky with pineapple, caramel, miso and brown butter, it did just that.
For my date, watermelon sake; a blend of Tanqueray 10, watermelon, vermouth and sake – providing a short, umami hit. Bang on the description which highlighted wood, fruit, floral, smoke, strawberry lapsang was a highlight. Combining Nikka Days, verjus, strawberry and lapsang (of course) it was delicate and smoky, but not overpowering for someone like me who doesn’t love peated whisky.
Before finishing up with a creamy lacto-fermented stone fruit cardomom (which the bartender likened to a Frube… oddly, he was not wrong), we were treated to a couple of tastings of Powers whisky. Not only does Silverleaf have impeccable interiors, but it’s also run by former Callooh Callay bar manager Liam Broom, along with Martyn Simpson and Chris Tanner from Milroy’s of Soho… hence the quality whisky range on offer. Whether you come for the cocktails or the spirits, it’s all top-notch here.
The DesignMyNight Digest
It's not hard to see why those who work in hospitality have been heading here in droves... they know what's good. The perfect pick for a date night or the kinda catch-up with a friend you really want to impress, Silverleaf is firing on all cylinders. You'll want to put this on your London hit-list.
💰 The damage: £15 per cocktail plus service charge.
📍 The location: Pan Pacific London, 80 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7AB.
👌 Perfect for: good drinks in a sexy setting.
⭐ Need to know: Silverleaf stays open until 2am for all you night owls.
All this whisky got you going? Consult our list of the best places for a dram in London.