50a Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8HA, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 207 399 4330
Website: View bar's website
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Owned by: Arkady Novikov
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Novikov is a huge temple to eating and drinking with two restaurants and a large lounge bar in the basement. The first UK venue for Moscow restaurateur Arkady Novikov, it's a high-capacity, high-spending lavish development with the Mayfair set - and Russia's wealthy ex-pats - firmly in mind.
The Asian and Italian restaurants are big on theatre, both with open kitchens, bustling staff and even staff greeting you in the relevant language. But we're headed down below to the supperclub-style basement. Like a Parisian supperclub, it's dark and loud, incense hangs in the air and fancy light sculptures preside over comfy leather chairs and low tables. To one side is a long bar, the other a room that can be made private for high spending Moscovites.
The drinks available are anything but predictable, the most creative being those designed by Esther Medina, a former bar manager from Roast in Borough who became used to market fresh produce. Here, she's again encouraging the bar staff to collaborate with the kitchen in a collection of vegetable-based syrups, purees and liqueurs, which are used with restraint to create classically derived if unusual cocktails that merely hint at their presumably healthy contents. Here, a Gin Sour uses lemongrass-inspired Lillet Blanc; there, Chinese five spice and pumpkin syrup complement whisky; elsewhere there's parsnip partnered with tea-infused vodka and Lapsang Souchong is paired with rum. Sweeter purees such as lychee mean there's something for sweeter palates too.