SquareMeal Review of
Queensway remains something of a desert for cocktail enthusiasts, so the presence of largely unsung Beachcomber is very welcome. Beyond a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it doorway in a pedestrian strip near Bayswater tube, you’ll find a bijou basement dive where you can immerse yourself in a rattan-clad, banquette-lined shack, staffed by cheery surf dudes and sassy chicks. An appealing soundtrack of calypso, reggae, Afro-funk and chunky soul jams adds to the tropical beach bar vibe, with Central American spirits and lighter-style premium rhums from the French Caribbean to the fore on a list of professionally dispatched tiki-style Zombies, Slings, Hurricanes and Daiquiris (at £9), backed by funky party punchbowls to share. Elsewhere on the list, the likes of Agwadisiac (Trois Rivières rhum, coca leaf liqueur, almond and blue Curaçao) and Suffering Gringo (a smoky mezcal fix with a chilli kick) are stealth bombs that should be treated with respect. Reasonably priced nibbles inspired by the street food of Guadeloupe and Martinique mitigate against morning-after suffering – a clear and present danger given Beachcomber’s late licence. Salt cod-laced avocado féroce, aubergine patties and saltfish fritters with piquant sauce chien and coconut slaw are well worth investigating.