Bam-Bou's Red Bar – atop a creaky Fitzrovia townhouse – is a popular eyrie that warrants repeat visits, particularly as it’s now a showcase for Japanese whiskey. Bourbon-barrel Yamazaki, distinguished Suntory blends, complex Hakushu drams from sherry casks, and Nikka single malts from the northern island of Hokkaido have a peaty masculinity that should appeal to fans of Scotland’s Laphroaig. Other claims to fame in this warm, inviting ‘salon chinois’ are classy cocktails: highlights include Robbie Burns San (Hakusku 12-year-old, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine and Angostura bitters), matador (Tapatio Blanco Tequila, Cointreau and Noilly Prat) and rum ale flip – a bold buccaneer brew that mixes Zacapa 23 and ruby port with spices, pimento and black lager to harmonious effect. To nibble, Bam-Bou’s pan-Asian bites include vegetable gyoza dumplings, crispy prawn rolls, Thai-style Scotch eggs and sweet potato doughnuts.
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