Revamped, refurbished and raring to go, Cinnamon Kitchen’s adjoining bar, Anise, is firing on all cylinders to pull in the Liverpool Street punters for a spicy cocktail. Now decked out with its own dedicated entrance, the new sleek interior certainly looks the part, and will no doubt please all punters whether casually dressed or sporting the iconic three-piece-cage of the City.
But it’s the cocktails that really do the selling for Anise, all ranging from about £7-£9 in price. For instance, fruitier numbers such as the Mangoan (gin, mango, violet liquer and lemon) and the coconutty Kokum Cooler (vodka, kokum syrup, coconut, mint and soda) offer a refreshing and gentle start to an evening’s drinking, but from there you have a number of options. You can choose for the rich and glossy Almond and Pistachio Sour (Jack Daniel’s, Disaronno, lemon and pistaschio), the curious celery twang of the Polo Club Daiquiri (rum, lime, peppermint tea and celery) or the subtle, welcome pea flavours of the Sweet Pea Julep (Jack Daniel’s, mint and pea puree).
The winner for me though is the Old East Indian – a sublimely aromatic mixture of Courvoisier, Cointreau, pineapple juice, bitters and a lightly toasted piece of orange that fills the air a few feet around it with exotic citrus mist. Smashing stuff.
Should you be peckish, a number of bar treats are also available to soak up those nose-tingling cocktails. Some of their more popular choices are Indian takes on dishes commonly featured in our day-to-day, such as the spicy Punjabi fish fingers (£5, served with a green pea relish), the USA-inspired Galouti Lamb Sliders (£8.50, with some piquant sauces to boot) or the Chicken Tikka ‘Nanza’ – a bold and flavoursome homage to the pizza that does actually work, albeit being a little pricy (£8) for the size. Not so exciting are the Fiery Chicken Wings (£5), which although relatively tasty, had little evidence of their Indian influence or ‘fire’.
Along with its sister restaurant, Cinnamon Soho, Anise adds another string to Cinnamon Kitchen’s bow, and while it was shockingly empty the Tuesday evening I visited, hopefully news of the cocktails, food and setting will soon ensure an attendance befitting of its style.
9 Devonshire Square
Tel: 020 7626 5000