Now, the purpose of this stream was to discover bars to drink in before and after your meal (kind of), and Dandelyan was the bar of choice following the meal at Great Guns Social (Borough, SE1). Located in the old Sea Containers House by Blackfriars Bridge (south of the river), it is now a Mondrian Hotel - the Mondrian London at Sea Containers House to be precise, and they've done a fabulous job of turning it into a destination venue.
Aside of all the money they've spent, the first thing that strikes you is how large the bar is. Remember, good cocktails take time to make and a large bar needs a large staff of competent cocktail makers to ensure the wait for drinks does trip into annoying (and indeed the cocktails came without undue waiting). The bar opens at 4pm and at this time of day, you can just walk in, but perhaps understandably for the 'best cocktail bar in world', if you intend to visit after 7pm, you might want to think about booking in advance.
While we were there, it was all very relaxed and guests wearing a Michael Jordan basketball jersey sat alongside guests dressed to the nines and no one minded. All very egalitarian. It's a personal preference of course whether you think this is a good thing or not.
In terms of drink philosophy, the cocktail menu, which they allow you to keep if you ask nicely, reads:
Dandelyan takes a modern approach in the pursuit of new flavours through an understanding of the make-up of plants to create innovative, memorable cocktails and new experiences. Mr Lyan and the Dandelyan team research how plants grow, reproduce and defend themselves, then extract these qualities - a 'nose-to-tail' approach to fauna.
While 'memorable' and 'experiences' are regular cliches for bars to trot out, with one of my cocktails having Creme d'Escargot as an ingredient, and arriving with a snail shell atop the ice, I will definitely concede, it's memorable. And with such an eye-popping menu, it would feel like a crime to order a gin and tonic there. Furthermore, in what has to be acknowledged as a major plus point, all of their cocktails can be ordered in non alcoholic versions also. Well done them.
The cocktail menu is so outside the box that one can't adequately address it in a blog post of reasonable length, but the three cocktails that I ordered that day are shown below with the menu descriptions alongside, giving you a sense of what you're in for. And as well as entirely new drinks, old favourites are also on the menu with an extensive make-over such as my Nemo Old Fashioned.
Another plus point worth noting is that cocktails here cost around £13, which is as far as I can tell the going rate for cocktails in London these days, and less than what many inferior places charge. They could have easily charged more, so well done to them again. The non alcoholic versions are about £5 cheaper which is also nice to see.
This really is a great cocktail bar that offers a remarkable drinking experience in a very relaxed style. The result is that cocktail drinking here is fun, rather than intimidating or pretentious. I simply haven't been to enough cocktail bars (yet) to venture an opinion of whether it is worthy of the title 'best cocktail bar in the world', but it is certainly the best on the blog so far. They've dared to do something different and it's worked handsomely, and that's one thing among many here that's worthy of praise. Hats off to Dandelyan.