Bacchus and Callooh Callay

Bacchus bar and kitchen, 177 Hoxton Street  London N1 6PJ

I have been to Bacchus a number of times, firstly when the Michelin starred chef Nuno Mendes was in residence and more recently where it is now a Gastropub.  There were quite a few similarities between the both; the décor hasn’t changed much and the quality of food is still very good albeit different, the real downside to both has been the speed at which the food came out.  I think their Sunday lunch is one of the best ones around (around £16.50) and I have experienced smooth service but recently it took 3 hours to get a starter and main course.  One family walked out after an hour of waiting. Luckily we were catching up with friends coupled with a free bottle of wine smoothed the memories of it.  The best thing on the menu is the haggis scotch egg it is worth the calories. I have had mixed experience  of the ambiance; from very little people noise, but loud music to screaming kids, unfortunately that just goes with the territory of Sunday Lunch. 

Talk Rating: 3.5/5

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Callooh Calley, 65 Rivington Street , London EC2A 3AY

After a long lunch of roast and red wine a quick cocktail seemed like the way to go and only a short walk away was Callooh Callay. It has been on the Shoreditch scene for a number of years, noted for their cocktail expertise and the quirky Lewis Carroll inspired décor. We were ushered through the wardrobe in to the Jub Jub room for those in the know. It was empty when we got there but full by the time we left.  The cocktail menu was a designed as a paint colour swatches. I think they missed a trick but not colour co-ordinating the swatches by the base liquor.  It is also an extensive list which is great but hard to find exactly what you want.  The cocktails were all distinct and tasty, I had a Eldorado 12 year old fashioned which is always my go to sipping cocktail. The staff seemed very knowledgeable, discussing with my cocktail geek friend whether to have an absinthe or coffee rinse.   They also made some cocktails up there and then to match with his record label name. Ambiance was great in the ‘Jub Jub’ room slightly more rowdy outside; service was very good for cocktail bar.  Nose level was atmospheric but never took over.

Talk Rating: 4/5

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