Some of London’s most highly regarded cocktail bars are found in the city’s luxury hotels, so I should not be surprised to hear that creative mixologist mastermind, Ryan Chetiyawardana (known as Mr Lyan) would be opening his second bar within a hotel. Known for pushing the boundaries of bartending, Ryan has previously worked behind the counter of some of the most pioneering cocktail joints; he opened his first bar (White Lyan) in Hoxton earlier this year, creating concoctions using no ice or fresh ingredients.
Dandelyan, set in the lavish new Mondrian Hotel on the river has smart hotel staff serving and pouring and sophisticated guests sitting on the luxury bar stools – the atmosphere is completely the opposite of the East London laid-back vibe I experienced in Hoxton. Eager to try Mr Lyan’s newest venture, a group of us swished in on a Monday evening ready to sample a selection of the top drinks, needless to say we had high expectations.
Here, ice and citrus essentials are allowed, but Mr Lyan still ensures the concept and recipes are adventurous and original. The beautifully designed floral cocktail menu splits the drinks into flavour groups: cereal, vegetal, mineral and floral. On the back page a diagram illustrates the main tastes of each drink and whether it is more suitable for daytime or nighttime drinking. We chose six to sip and share, along with a range of tasty bar snacks.
My favourites included the ‘Puffed Grains & Chocolate’ a long Scotch-based drink with a nutty sweet taste and the signature ‘Dandelyan Sour’ which is very easy to drink served in a pretty coupette glass: a botanical taste with a mix of gin, citrus flavours and aromatic garden bitters. For something very light and refreshing the popular ‘Southbank’ is a good bet, an elegant rum-based drink with a nice balance of grapefruit and honey. I also loved the ‘Monroe’, a strong vodka cocktail with lemon, wheat and passionfruit.
Despite the complex and intricate design of these cocktails, there is a drink to suit everyone, whether you are a cocktail fan or not. Mr Lyan is a mixologist magician and this new bar is sure to make Mondrian Hotel a drinking destination.
More information on Dandelyan Bar here.