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This first-floor offshoot of Japanese restaurant chain Itsu is quite the local secret – like its similarly named Notting Hill sister bar. Climb an inconspicuous staircase beyond the reception desk and you’ll enter an exotic cocoon above the restaurant. In the soft, seductive, gloaming – all natural light screened out by dark shutters – SW3’s social butterflies perch on plush chocolate and mint seating. Dirt-cheap (by Chelsea standards) at £7.95 is a ginger, coconut and lychee vanilla vodka Martini. Other ideas (all at £9.95) include Samurai (a refreshing cucumber and apple gin Collins), a lychee and cassis Bellini, Espresso Martini, and Japanese Mule (with Midori liqueur and pear vodka). Wines start at £18, bubbles at £40; there’s Tiger and Tsingtao for lager drinkers, while a selection of tea-based mocktails will suit abstainers. If you’re peckish, gyoza, sushi and sashimi platters can be ferried up from Itsu below.
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