Bar Lotus

Clinton Cawood reviews one of Kingsland Road's latest cocktail haunts. 

It doesn’t get much more minimalist than cool Dalston drinking spot Bar Lotus, from the unadorned walls to the absence of a back bar, with drinks made at a low-key station near the door.

There’s plenty of atmosphere though – this is a dark, moody space, selectively lit over two large sharing tables, as well as the tables for two along one wall.

There’s nowhere for the drinks to hide in this stripped-down setting, and fortunately they don’t need to. A well-balanced, seasonal list draws on East Asian influences – the bar’s five other outposts are located across China – with presentation as unadorned as the space they’re served in.

Martini-inspired Sango is an exercise in subtlety and elegance, with green tomato and sake adding complexity but not overpowering, while Chamomile – a bitter, floral mix of dark rum, chrysanthemum and chamomile – is punchy, yet beautifully measured.

On the whole, a classy addition to Kingsland Road’s cocktail scene.

SCORE: 8/10

» 480 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE