SquareMeal Review of
The Natural Philosopher
To the casual passer-by, The Natural Philosopher looks like another dusty Hackney bric-a-brac shop, but behind the shabby-chic mise en scène lurks an edgy new venture from Dalston club Manero’s. The undoubted talking point here is the sunken bar, its tenders’ bobbing heads barely visible to seated punters (there’s table-service only). The artfully dishevelled lounge flaunts its displays of taxidermy, lurid kitsch, random tat from Roman Road market and vintage Apple Macs. Take care on the wonky approach to the drinking den, set beneath the bar. House cocktails such as summery gin sour, Lord Kelvin, cost £9. Other hits include Zabarella, a bittersweet moreish Margarita made with cardamom-infused Ocho tequila, vanilla, lime and pomegranate juice. Parmenides, named after the 5th century BC natural philosopher, consists of brandy, yellow Chartreuse, absinthe bitters and white wine – but it failed to provide our ‘Eureka!’ moment. Their take on an Old Fashioned is a must-try, incorporating pomegranate molasses, honey and grapefruit liqueur for a profoundly flavoursome twist on the classic cocktail.