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Monday 26 September 2011

Cocktail Hour: Zenna, London

Zenna is one of those places that I've been meaning to go to for aaaaages (Kat has been and worked her way through the entire menu). But given that England has been having 'summer' and Zenna is all underground in Soho, I sort of forgot about it. I've been on the hunt for the perfect roof garden instead (no, I haven't found that either).

But, Zenna has actually wowed me. Myself and some of the Domestic Sluts were invited to play a couple of weeks ago and I wish I'd come here sooner. We've already mentioned their DIY bellini (genius idea) but their garden martini is without a doubt the very best cocktail I've tried this year. I've tried around eleventy billion and this is the most fantastic. It's a vodka, mint, apple and cucumber concoction and was the one that everyone was fighting over (they didn't win, obviously). It was refreshing, strong and it smelled divine.

Zenna has an Indian theme (the Bollywood music is slightly tacky, but apparently better than the house music they played previously). This theme means that the cocktails have a savoury and spicy edge. Not least the 'world's spiciest cocktail' which includes a secret chilli sauce and three types of rum. Obviously, I had to try it in the name of research but also I had to sign a (gimmicky?) waiver to drink it, just to make sure I don't sue the bar if I get sick. This is a very spicy drink. And it's still tasty. You can taste everything in the cocktail and that's impressive as I was just expecting heat. But about halfway down I started to get heartburn and I'm not sure I really want to spend much time (or money) on something that I only classed as 'drinkable'. I love the idea and it's a real crowd puller, but I wouldn't order it again. Much better was the peach and chilli cocktail - a little bit of a heat and an interesting flavour, but I actually wanted to finish it.

I'll come back to Zenna. I like the sexy booths that felt separate from the bar without being shut off. The staff were lovely to us (and *ahem* Dan is very handsome indeed). There was a bourbon tasting going on when we were there, and the bar was quiet. I'd love to go when it was a little busier - I imagine it's a lively little place at the weekends. I'm so pleased this place is on my radar now. There's a whole cocktail menu for me to work through. Once I've had seven more garden martinis.

Zenna is on Dean Street in London's Soho. We didn't pay for our drinks when we visited, but we'll be back soon and we're more than willing to give them all of our pennies in exchange for martinis.


  1. Hi Sian

    I'm glad you wrote up a great review of Zenna as it has quickly become one of my favourite cocktail venues in Soho.

    I'v been working my way through the spicy cocktail menu and have tried the soon-to-be-famous World's Spiciest Cocktail which is a great piece of bar theatre (and is actually very spicy!).

    I've spoken with Dan on several occasions and the guy's a true genius. You can tell immediately that he lives and breathes cocktails and is a true believer in the art of Mixology.

    He's also experimenting with alcoholic lassis (Indian yoghurt drinks) which should be really interesting.

    Hopefully see you there soon!


  2. We had some of the lassi cocktails! Loved them as well. I think the peach and chilli one needs to be attempted in the kitchen.


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