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Natasha Heard visits Kanishka in Mayfair for some delicious cocktails and Indian bar snacks

By Natasha Heard on 23rd September 2019

For those looking to extend the British summer to an Indian one with some delicious cocktails, Kanishka in Mayfair has you covered with a interesting selection of drinks to keep the party going.

Teaming up with City of London Distillery Gin and Dead Man’s Finger’s Rum, Kanishka’s mixologist, Nick Smith has crafted a selection of tasty cocktails to enjoy with the bar snack menu, but don’t miss out, this feature cocktail list is only available until the 27th of September.

Created with the flavours on the plate in mind, the selection of beach-inspired cocktails and punches are easy to drink alone. I popped along over the weekend to taste some of these offerings and was nicely surprised at how well they paired with the North East Indian food on the menu too – spicy flavours and crisp textures were either uplifted with fruity, refreshing drinks or complemented with spicier versions.

The restaurant is Atul Kochhar’s latest eatery and sits on Maddox street, Mayfair, not far from the chaos of Oxford Circus but far enough away to offer you a relaxed and elegant atmosphere and welcome escape from the nearby bustle of Central London.

There’s a lovely atmosphere in the restaurant, with fresh, bright and breezy decor with vibrant blues, black and white stripes, mirrors abound and blue bar chairs, which are very comfortable to perch on for a cocktail and snack. There are two floors of tables for restaurant diners and plenty of seating at the long bar for drinkers, and the space lends itself well to private gatherings.

I started with a Starry Nights cocktail, which is a blend of City of London Distillery Authentic Dry Gin, peach, raspberries, cranberry, mint and sugar, topped with sparkling water and served with fresh raspberries, peach and plenty of ice. If you like peach you’ll love this. Following the initial kick of gin, the taste of the stone fruit is the long lasting flavour; it’s light and fresh, uplifting the spices in the food, and it goes down very well.

I ordered a selection of bites from the bar menu and was told that I couldn’t miss out on the starter of chicken tikka pie too – I was not going to resist that so I happily obliged! All items that I devoured were packed with flavour, held some lovely textures and were well complemented with a sauce to add another fulfilling element to the dish.

Food consisted of fried momos filled with Kentish lamb, organic vegetables, with a delightful tomato and chilli chutney on the side; crispy fish – rice beer marinated fish pakoda with a fermented tamarind ketchup (my favourite dip); chicken malai tikka – soft cheese marinated tandoori chicken tikka; shapali-inspired keema naan – kid goat mince stuffed naan served with mint chutney. I also enjoyed the aforementioned chicken tikka pie – an individual pie with delightfully crisp pastry, which came with a sweet berry jam – as well as some poppadoms including a tapioca version, which had a wonderful, almost bubbly, texture.

From the special cocktail menu I also enjoyed the Coconut Shack and Palm Breeze (I was a little tipsy as I left). The former offers a twist on the classic combination of pineapple and coconut with the addition of smoke from a tandoor, using Dead Man‘s Fingers Coconut Rum, lime, roast pineapple juice, lime juice and ginger beer to create the ultimate taste of summer on the beach. Served in a coconut effect porcelain cup, this transports you straight to a Caribbean island with lovely thick, juicy, refreshing flavours that are so easy to drink.

Palm Breeze is a bold and warming cocktail made with Dead Man‘s Fingers Spiced Rum, apple juice, cinnamon and anise syrup, lime, mint and peppermint tea. Served in an elephant effect porcelain cup this cocktail, which, on paper, is packed with spices and sharper fruits, when consumed combines to create a drink that’s light and clean yet spicy and flavourful. I was surprised at how much I liked it.

Cocktails are priced at £10, while punches serving up to four people are priced from £22.50.

Those wishing to embark on a gastronomic whistle-stop tour of an Indian summer before the Christmas countdown begins can book via the Kanishka website here.

Address: 17-19 Maddox St, Mayfair, London W1S 2QH / 020 3978 0978