Silk & Grain – Cocktails with a Difference:
Finding a way to differentiate bars and restaurants in London is increasingly difficult. New openings every week – each with their own unique twist. Ironically when I was invited to review Silk & Grain in the heart of the City, I thought it was going to be a whisky bar, so I was just a little suprised to arrive and find a bar stacked with barrels but lined with cocktail glasses
It is a fun concept. The idea is to take classic cocktails and mix them up a bit by various aging processes – barrel ageing of course
but also a whole range of alternatives; ‘conditioning’ in bottles – a bit like you would do with a vintage wine,metal conditioning and leather ageing for example.
The result – a range of quite unique cocktails including a metal martini, leather penicillin and a barrel aged manhattan.
We indulged in a whole range of bar snacks while we tried the difference between the regular cosmos and the bottle conditioned one (an improvement for me) and the regular and barrel aged hanky panky (which, if I’m honest I thought were both just a little too close to cough mixture).
I probably indulged rather too much in the bar snacks. But thankfully our starter of scallops on a pea puree with smoked Trealy Farm bacon was light and refreshing and worked well with the Barrel Aged Presidentes.
The main of Rib-eye steak was really good, though mine was not amazing – just a little more resting time would have helped. Having said that, it’s no mean feat to serve a large group with steak at exactly the same time, so perhaps I was just unlucky. I loved the accompanying Scotch whisky butter with mushroom and merlot sauce and who can complain when there’s a choice of excellent fries or fat chips.
By this stage we were happily drinking bloody Moiras, a version of a Bloody Mary made with leather-aged Dalwhinnie. I’d happily consider drinking this with steak any time, it was an excellent pairing.
Homemade gooey chocolate brownies with pistachio ice-cream was every bit as good as it sounds. And I was very happy with the Barrel Aged Manhattans that were served alongside.
In fact, as I staggered home I realised I’d been rather too happy with the cocktails and I know I thoroughly enjoyed the pairings.
For a City bar a stones throw from Bank this is good value and good quality. Starters are £6 upward, Mains from £13 to £30 for the most expensive steak. The menu was well represented at our dinner, a nice selection of bistro or gastro-pub modern classics with a few neat twists.
Bar snacks start at £4 and cocktails at a mere £7.50, even outside of any promotion. There are a range of craft beers and a reasonable wine list with bottles starting at £17. Though you might not need any given the extensive cocktail options!