“I don’t like desserts”…said NO ONE EVER!
Walking through Soho you’re bombarded with places to eat, drink, chill or do all of it. But there’s always room for something new and that’s what I love about London!
Lo and behold- Basement Sate. A cocktails and desserts bar! They opened last year in September and since then have garnered a quiet following of people with an insatiable sweet tooth. For once desserts have taken the centre stage in the menu and I LOVE IT! Leave your guilt at the door and step right in. The cozy sofas are inviting and you could lounge here for a few hours quite easily. A lazy evening spent eating and giggling away with your friends. They also have DJs who get you lightly tapping your feet to the beats while you eat and drink. A perfect “chill out” zone.
They don’t have a sign at the door so like us you may find yourself approaching a lone man standing at the door looking at you. And you wonder to yourself- am I going to get in some kind of trouble? But then you find out this is the entrance to Basement Sate and you joke about it pretending you knew exactly what it was the whole time! Ha…nope, didn’t happen to me… Anyway! I sent in our specialist drinks guy, J, to check the place out and try out their new menu they launched in March 2015 which features some innovative mix of cocktails. They have added in some nibbles for people who prefer a little savoury something with their drinks.
Quite a cool atmosphere, helped by the dark décor, minimal lighting and underground location. They’ve chosen a theme and stuck to it well. On to the new menu!
- Kinder surprise: Brownie, milk chocolate and tonka whipper cream, caramelised hazelnuts, praline foam, caramelia pearls. Served kinder egg, although a lot harder to break into than the classic childrens treat (and unfortunately no toy in the middle). Each part of this desert was delicious, I just wish there was more of it! Only two small pieces of brownie and a couple of hazelnuts.
- Green Forest: pistachio jaconde, black cherry amarena cremeux, pistachio whipped cream and strawberries.
Don’t expect massive portions of desserts- this isn’t an American diner 😉 petite desserts, great flavours and just one dessert won’t be enough!
- Ordered a Mai Scotch: Scotch, Almond syrup, triple sec, peat. The drink was fruitier than expected, but had a strong smoky aftertaste courtesy of the peat.
- And a Her cocktail: Irish whiskey, dry vermouth, amontillado sherry, luxardo maraschino. Strong, dry, and hard hitting.
The single waiter seemed a bit rushed off his feet, so it would have been nice to get a more detailed explanation of the different deserts and cocktails on offer (important for a place that is really trying to pride itself on cool cocktails and deserts). However, understandably it can get quite challenging when serving a busy bar!
Another selling point of Basement Sate is they like to share the love of cocktails and desserts too! What does that mean? They offer pastry and cocktail making classes! So if you’re looking for something fun to do one afternoon or evening, then this is the place to be. Their head chef Kelly Nadjarian heads up the pastry making class. She is very passionate about desserts and loves talking about them! A bit of background about Kelly. “Hailing from Paris, Kelly’s career was kick started by working in numerous prestigious establishments including luxurious Parisian hotels, such as Le Majestic and Le Royal Monceau.
Whilst Kelly was honing her skills working with Pierre Herme at Le Royal Monceau, a five star hotel situated near the Champs Elysées, she was head-hunted by the Mandarin Oriental in London, and went on to work underneath patisserie expert Rudolphe Tronc. From there Kelly then went on to work at exclusive private members club Morton’s before perfecting her patisserie skills at the renowned French pastry shop, Belle Epoque. Kelly is now bringing her passion of pastry and impressive culinary skills to Basement Sate.” SO! A group of bloggers descended upon their kitchen (luckily fits 6 people!) and we went on making our lemon meringue pie- a first for me! I don’t make desserts at home- I prefer my savoury meals and leave the dessert making to the experts. Therefore, this afternoon was a fun way to pair up and try to attempt something I didn’t think I could accomplish.
We got our stations ready and started working on the step by step process of making a lemon meringue pie. If you’re good at measuring, organising and following instructions then you can make a fine dessert. I, however, follow my instinct while cooking and like a true Asian never use a measuring utensil! This was quite challenging but luckily my partner was doing the main work..ha ha
Kelly showing us some tricks of the trade!
We decided to grate in some lemon zest for an extra zingy flavour- yum!! A perfect summer dessert.
I had a fantastic evening learning something new. Kelly makes the whole experience fun and always on-hand to help. This is a great way to try something different with your friends, partner or even a team day away from the office! These classes are only available on Wednesday from 1-4PM.