SquareMeal Review of
The owners of cod-1930s Chinese speakeasy Cecil’s have pushed the action on by a couple of decades, rebadging their off-Bermondsey Street premises as Nine Lives. It’s now a 1950s-style California tiki lounge – not the most obvious fit within a dark converted Victorian warehouse basement, perhaps, but it hangs together well enough. Co-owner Tom Soden of drinks consultancy Sweet&Chilli (who also runs The Gunmakers in Clerkenwell) has a zero-waste approach to cocktail-making, using sustainable ingredients (many grown in a yard outside) to produce his reasonably priced, snappy list. Highlights include Moby Dick (a coconut oil-washed whisky and salted-caramel Old Fashioned), Omu Kooler (a watermelon, cucumber and Campari long drink), and Crossfire (a rum and four fruits New Orleans-style Hurricane). Saturdays are given over to Rent Party (£5 cover charge) when you can get down to a juicy mash-up of eclectic beats on a chunky sound system.