Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Bar Review: Callooh Callay - London.

A couple of weeks ago, my work colleagues and I went to Callooh Callay, which is a quirky little bar located in East London. I don't/can't really drink alcohol as it makes my body ache (mainly around my neck and shoulders - someone please enlighten me?) and puts me to sleep (severe lightweight) so it is rather pointless for me to consume!Also, apart from a Snowball which is made with Advocaat and Lemonade, everything else I have tried makes me gag! - but in regards to the Snowball, my boyfriend is the only person who makes it for me and he only puts in a teaspoon of Advocaat and the rest is Lemonade in a highball glass, so that probably doesn't really count as an alcoholic drink anyway! So, without straying off my point (which I often do), I can't really review the drinks at this bar for the above reason - although many of my work colleagues did have some sort of pear cocktail which looked nice and they all really liked it.
Apart from the alcohol, which is actually the least important thing to me and I'm sure you can find information about it elsewhere, I adored the d├ęcor! It was quirky, eclectic, and I couldn't stop looking around as there was always something different to see! My favourite part was probably the wall outside the toilets which was completely covered with retro cassettes! This followed straight through to the Ladies and was completely unexpected!
As I browsed the website, I came across the story behind Calooh Callay by the owner, Richard Wynne.

"Having lived, worked & loved bars of all shapes and kinds for the last ten years, I dreamt of creating my own bar; my own world. So, here it is… tucked away on a Shoreditch side street, with eclectic interiors & most importantly irresistible cocktails served by some of the world’s most respected bartenders.

And the name…? Inspired by Lewis Caroll’s poem ‘Jabberwocky’ – a poem of nonsense. As Alice said, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.

So here is Callooh Callay: my world of glorious drinks filled with fun and nonsense."

I loved the bar even more after reading this as I could completely see why the bar was so quirky and any reference to Alice in Wonderland (which I should have noticed!) can win me over! However, I wish we were seated in the little booth in the first photo but we were seated in the section parallel to it which was extremely dark, although I'm pretty sure the table next to my seat was a faux tree stump! I didn't mind the darkness at first but when we ordered food, it was hard to see what was what! Again, the food they offered was so unexpected...it was Japanese! We ordered Kushi Age which are 'succulent pork skewers' (these were indeed succulent!!), Ebi Tempura Callooh Callay Style (very yummy prawn tempura), Prawn and Beef Gyoza (dumplings) which were also very yummy. The food was totally impressive, at great prices and really fast! Service was also brilliant, the staff were friendly and attentive.

This was a really lovely bar which many people will also agree with as it was extremely crowded, so if there is a group of you going, I recommend that you book a seating area because you could be standing for the whole night!
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