Friday, 13 January 2012

The Lucky Pig

No pics and no food.

Not much to go on then, for a review. But I thought I should say a few words about The Lucky Pig, a new cocktail joint in deepest Fitzrovia.

It's ok. Instant reminder of The Worship Street Whistling Shop, but less designed. And it's not trying the whole prohibition thing, but it's not quite clear exactly what they're going for. It's still something of an underground speakeasy. I've since read it might be something New Orleans focused, which I didn't get at all.

Table service was attentive and the staff were generally very affable. The cocktails themselves were quite a compendious lot. These newfangled places usually only have about four on the list, made with weird bitters, tinctures, syrups and tonics you're never heard of. Often medicinal and minging too.

But The Lucky Pig has a solid list of modern classics (not a Woo Woo in sight) as well as some more inventive numbers. I had about five or six, and can't quite remember each one. My favourite, the New York Sour was made correctly, but was a little bit weak. In New York, you'd get some grief for that.

My friends' cocktails also tasted like they'd been assiduously measured to 50ml rather than free-poured. At £10 and up and with 12.5% on top, it's not really in the, er, spirit of things.

The crowd was a W1 fun lot, party people who couldn't be arsed to head to Dalston so early. Special mention to the 80s pop soundtrack which was excellent.

It's a good effort, but I'm still not quite sure about The Lucky Pig. And I don't think it can get away from feeling like a damp basement, rather than the underground den of hedonism. Indeed, their New Year's Eve party was closed by flooding.

And finally, for a bar aspiring to The Lucky Pig's calibre, the £1 charge for coats at about 6:30pm is tacky and rapacious. I could happily have spun around and gone to Riding House. Given that is many people's first impression, it's pretty myopic and frankly dumb. Surely the aim is to be an alternative to the shit West End clubs?

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