We warmed our insides with a potato sack sour; I'm not sure what gives it its name, but the flavours of Aperol, lemon and peach shone through. The frothy top was made with adding egg white when it is being shaken, giving the drink a smooth lightness and you a foam moustache. A procession of dishes came from their Deep South-inspired menu, ranging from a Waldorf-ish salad to gumbo and jerk chicken wings, which were nothing of the sort, though still delicious in their breadcrumbed, barbecue sauce way.
The most expensive dish on the menu at £7 was this spicy jambalaya, packed full of chicken and prawns. Served in a deep urn, the rice was well cooked, the heat of the spices giving a good kick.
Though I really liked the soul fried chicken bites - come on, who doesn't love a bit of battered chicken? - my pick of the bunch was this tempura okra. Though the coating is a little thicker than most tempura I'm used to, I loved the sliminess of the okra nestled within the crunch of the batter. A smidge more salt and it'd have been perfect. I also became quite addicted to the sweet potato fries; crispy in places, soggy in others, they were delicious dunked in the spicy dip. Gourmet food this is not, but great for nibbling on over some heavy boozing.
Most unusual drink of the night was the 'Call Me the Milkman'. It looked like it would be soft and creamy, but was in fact quite the opposite and a bit of an acquired taste. Other drinks included a whiskey-based drink that tasted of Christmas, as well as hot toddies, all at £7.50.
No one goes out for just one cocktail though so we finished up the evening with the Dillionaire; the most orangey cocktail I've ever sipped. It was the very essence of orange.
I really enjoyed Shaker & Company and no doubt I'll be back given its close vicinity to work. Often cocktail bars are either too expensive (hello, Experimental Cocktail Club), too snooty or snobbish (hello, Experimental Cocktail Club) or just a bit crap but Shaker & Company have all the makings to be none of the above.
Shaker & Company
119 Hampstead Road
Tel: 020 7060 6877