Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Shaker & Company

One blustery freezing evening, I was invited to Shaker & Company to try out some cocktails and the food they serve alongside it. Located in a bit of no man's land-esque area in between Euston and Camden, it was the drinks that lured me in as it was opened by the people of Shaker BarSchool, renowned for training up world class bartenders.

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
London
NW1 3EE

Tel: 020 7060 6877

11 comments:

Jessica said...

Oh shit! With this and the two Taps I'm basically going to have to start turning up four hours early for all the trains I take.

Yas said...

Can you give us an idea of cocktail prices?
Thanks.

Lizzie said...

Jessica - Oh shit! You are gonna be drrrrrunk on that train.

Yas - All cocktails are at £7.50.

thewanderingfoody said...

For such interesting cocktails, that's a great price! I definitely want to check it out. Haven't tried the ECC yet... but you don't seem to recommend it :)

Andy K said...

ECC is rubbish I agree. Many more fun places of there and lots of them are East - yay! I'm thinking ZTH, WSWS, Nightjar etc...

One question - was it busy/fun/exciting or was it quiet? Bit of a funny old place for a cool cocktail bar...

Thanks!

Lizzie said...

Wandering Foody - Very reasonably priced indeed. Yes, I'm not a big fan of ECC.

Andy L - I really loved Zetter Town House too; yet to try Nightjar but hopefully that's imminent. What is WSWS?

It was a bit quiet but then it was a Monday night too, notorious for being dead. Fun though, all the staff were lovely.

Andy K said...

http://whistlingshop.com/

It's fun, you'd like it, though it's a bit spennier at a tenner a go on average.

I also had an amazing time recently at Off Broadway, on Broadway Market. It was surprisingly devoid of pretentiousness and the bar manager (Byron) mixed some awesome cocktails...

The Grubworm said...

The nibbles seem unusually hearty to go with cocktails, but in fact I guess would work very well. And a nice break from the charcuterie style stuff you often find. I like the sound of the cocktails too - particularly the whiskey one, perfect for cold nights such as these.

If they are of the quality of the ZTH, then I definitely need to go and try them out.

Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

Southern food is having a bit of a moment, isn't it? Viva la grease! I used to work on Hampstead Road which is a wierd thoroughfare btwn Fitzrovia and Camden - bit of a no mans land but there were a few gems (Mestizo and Positively 4th Street cocktail bar - are they still there?)

Lizzie said...

Andy k - ah ha! I have been there. Strangely big and cavernous I thought. I'll check out Broadway too...

Grubworm - I like a hearty nibble, me. I loved ZTH, this is definitely a different vibe though no worse for it.

Katy - I'm loving this Southern food moment; Mestizo is still there though I think Shaker & Co. refurbed Positively 4th St into this.

Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

Oh RIP Postively 4th Street. Still it had a good run and this place looks a more than worthy replacement...