Wednesday 15th May - The Breakfast Club has finally ventured south of the river! I booked a table for 6.30 and assembled a SW London team of Ali, Max, Libby and Mary for dinner and drinks. As I was early, I popped in to the nearby Southsider Cocktail Club (one of my first List trips a few months ago) to check out their new cocktail menu. They have one of the best happy hours in London with £5 top of the range cocktails from 5-8 every day. New drinks include syringes, tea cups and even one in a plastic coffee cup. I couldn't leave without tasting their homemade pesto bitters (slightly obsessed with the green stuff) which was tasty but incredibly dry. The free chilli and lime flavoured popcorn went down well too.
|Southsider Classic - Blueberry Pancake Mule|
Photo from Cocktail Scholars
Libby hauled me out of the bar and we arrived first at the new Battersea Breakfast Club. The decor is not as rock'n'roll hipster as the other branches, perhaps in an attempt to appease the Clapham yuppies. My main reason for coming was not however for the food (though I need to return for the proper brunch experience, queues and all, on a Sunday in the near future)... The Spitalfields Breakfast Club has a hidden bar called the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, which you enter by walking through a giant Smeg fridge. That's all well and good, but now I no longer need to hop on the 344 to Liverpool Street to get my breakfast & cocktail fix in the same place. The Battersea branch has its own secret called King of Ladies Man - a 70s bachelor pad serving disco drinks, grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beers. Bar descriptions don't come much better than that. They had some private openings over the weekend, with invites sent out on knickers - see below!
|King of Ladies Man invites|
We decided to build the anticipation by ordering some Breakfast Club food first, though I had blogger paranoia that the bar would fill up as I saw people disappearing in the right direction. Our waiter was a laugh, especially when he vented his frustration with using the electronic notepads for taking orders, as they make it hard to have any eye contact with customers. We challenged him to keep eye contact with Ali as he took note of her Full English order, and he made a good fist of it. Thankfully the food came quickly as I was getting more and more worried about the bar filling up. We all somehow resisted ordering the Cow vs Pig burger. My pulled pork sandwich was very enjoyable, and Ali seemed pretty happy with her maple syrup covered fry up. After wolfing everything down, we asked the manager to take us through to see the King. She obliged and showed us to the door which lead to a laundrette (no doubt for all of the King's dirty laundry).
Here we were greeted with a free round of Taboo shots (remember that drink?) by a man in a Hawaiian shirt, sporting a King of Ladies Man (KOLM) shirt transfer. He then slid back one of the walls to reveal the KOLM bar. We were shown to a fun corner of the bar, which worked its way around so that we were effectively standing behind the bar in line with the staff. We were well looked after by Sam who brought us our first round of disco drinks. Another barman also came by asking if we were expecting a surprise. We weren't but by this point he had got our hopes up so he went to get us more free shots since he had put his foot in it.
|Max wore the right jumper for the occasion|
The drinks menu is cleverly presented in the form of the King's Little Black Book, with plenty of blank pages at the back for leaving your number for him. The craft beers aren't listed in the menu as they going to rotate them, but they are all on show above the bar. The array of cheesy bar food looks excellent and they serve food til 10. Ali would like better marked toilet doors after she went to the Men's by mistake, though she did fail to see the urinals opposite her as she went in. There are loads of classic cocktails plus some new inventions to choose from and each one we went for on the night went down very well. We had to try a taster of the seaweed-infused Zubrowka - what can I say, it tasted like seaweed-infused Zubrowka. It blended very nicely with tequila in the drinkable Mr.Miyagi house cocktail. Tommy's Chilli and Lemongrass Margarita and the Mezcal Sunset were also particularly impressive. All this was set to a funky soundtrack that was right up my street (Earth, Wind and Fire, Average White Band, Jackson 5 etc) though it did veer slightly off course every now and then - stick to disco funk! When we eventually left, I asked to take the above photo of the laundrette, which inadvertedly led to yet another round of Taboo shots. The staff were great value all night and gave the place a friendly but lively atmosphere. There is no better time to go to KOLM than tonight, as they are doing a ridiculous "Helsinki Happy Hour" from 4-8pm (as it will be 6pm in Helsinki) with drinks served at 80s prices! I hope it becomes a regular Friday occurrence. The King will definitely be getting a second date...
Tuesday 14th - Before watching Arsenal vs Wigan in the bottled beer heaven that is Porterhouse, I met my fellow Gallery String Quartet member, Tom (feel free to leave viola jokes as comments below), for some pizza at the newly opened Homeslice Pizza in the colourful Neal's Yard near Covent Garden.
Homeslice (or Homelice as I called them a month ago on The List before my Dad corrected me) have upgraded from selling pizza by the slice on the street by moving in to a new permanent home which opened last week. You can still order by the slice for £4, or you can order giant 20" pizzas to share for £20, with the option of going half and half on toppings. The different combinations are all up on our board and it is not an easy choice!
We decided upon the Bone Marrow, Spring Onion and Watercress opposite the Duck Breast with Roasted Szechuan Pineapple which the waitress highly recommended. The monster pizza arrived quickly with a pizza cutter which Tom wielded despite having a broken elbow, leaving us with some giant slices to eat calzone style. The doughy base and crust were very moreish and the toppings were superb. We washed it down with a pint of Saint Lager but there is also the superior (though more expensive) Kernel Pale Ale available in bottles. It was already busy by 6.30 and it has only been open a week so get there as early as you can! They do take bookings for larger groups too.
Stuff to book: Ginstock and Craft Beer Battle, both excellent sounding events run by Tweat Up; Forza Win - rooftop pizza supper club with entertainment; Rooftop Film Club - new branch in Peckham opening soon.
Natalie remains List Leader though may be caught by Sam as she continues to weigh up whether to spend all her money on gin or save it for a house. Judging by her purchasing of Ginstock tickets yesterday, she should be able to maintain her lead.