Tony Conigliaro has been the name to check on the London cocktail scene since he opened Bar Termini, a tiny Soho institution best-known for its great coffee and even greater negronis. He’s also the man behind 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington, and the east London cocktail laboratory The Drink Factory, where he devises combinations that are more akin to science than libation mixing.
His latest opening on Kingsland Road in Hackney, is more polished than the others, almost gallery-like in its minimalism, with just one central polished concrete counter that encourages guests to mingle. Around it hang artworks referencing Warhol’s Silver Factory.
The restaurant space overlooking the bar is warmer, and has a Japanese izakaya feel to both the design – a collaboration between Conigliaro, Sofia Lympari from Studioprototype and Benny Robinson of Machine17 – and the menu, which was developed by chef Rob Roy Cameron.
Expect a fusion of contemporary cooking techniques with authentic Japanese flavours in dishes such as a katsu sandwich with beef, pickle & bulldog sauce. Designed to be shared, the menu works perfectly with the cocktails – of which Snow, a technically mind-boggling blend of distilled chalk, clay, flint and enoki mushroom should be tried to be believed.