SquareMeal Review of
Avant-garde cocktail king Ryan Chetiyawardana (of Dandelyan fame) has reconfigured what was White Lyan as a two-in-one space with a zippy drinks-led diner (Cub) on the ground floor and Super Lyan in the basement. Dark, moody and superficially sleazy, with a lap-dancer’s metal pole adding to the room’s low-rent mien, the new bar marks a change of mood from the owner’s previously ascetic approach – even formerly banned cocktail components such as ice and fruit are back in fashion among a dozen deeply doable drinks. Star turns include Man on Fire – a refreshing, smoky Dewar’s 12 and Del Maguey mezcal sour made with lemon, pine honey and chilli-infused Chilean liqueur Ancho Reyes, served over an ice rock of Gibraltarian proportions. Top marks too for the bourbon-based Pillow Manhattan enhanced by ‘leathered cherry’, and an off-menu twist on a Vieux Carré that sharpens up the viscous New Orleans classic with a jigger of Calvados. Less ‘Super’, to our tastes, is the pre-batched Nitro Martini: dispensed from a gleaming chrome spout, its fizzed-up mix of bergamot, maple, Jack Daniels and cold-brew coffee falls flat. Fellow punters, however, argue in its favour: as ever, Chetiyawardana’s stirs stir up keen debate.