The buzz: JW Marriott’s latest incarnation of their lobby bar has been created by the New York Steak House team who’ve applied the same opulent gentleman’s club style to the décor and come up with a drinks list that focuses on variations on that most classic of cocktails, the Martini.
The décor: It’s heavy on the gravitas, with lots of dark wood, grey walls and stylishly framed black and white photos. There’s a small bar at one end that’s backed by a shelf boasting an impressive array of spirits. At the moment the bar is rather narrow, separated as it is from the walkway to New York Steakhouse by a dark wooden panel but they’re planning to incorporate this whole space into the bar. Lounge chairs in purples and greys surround low tables with some tall wooden stools for those wanting to prop up the bar. There’s a private room for parties and if you want to learn how to make your own martini then they also run proper mixologist classes.
The music: Soft house and lounge tunes provide an unobtrusive soundtrack.
The crowd: Mostly hotel guests and loyal New York Steak House customers, with some office workers dropping in for a pre-game cocktail before hitting the nearby clubs.
The price: Apart from whiskey and beer, the bar offers a long list of martinis; try The House Martini (Gordon’s Gin, Bacardi white rum, red wine and orange bitter, B400), Manhattan (Jim Beam and sweet vermouth, B400), Absolut Chili Chocolat Martini (Smirnoff vodka, dry vermouth, crème de cacao and chili, B400) and the latest signature drink, just launched to celebrate the July 4, the Marshmallow Martini (B420). As for food, they have the same menu as the New York Steak House, but you can also just order from their list of tapas options like the smoked salmon (B590), shrimp cocktail (B450), beef wagyu (B480) and pork belly (B220).
Why you’ll come back: What could be better than a classic martini as a pre-dinner aperitif before enjoying a slab of prime beef next door. Vasachol Quadri