Going out for dessert, ooh, how decadent! If we make a point of heading to town specifically for a well-made Martini or ace cosmopolitan then why not to get a sweet fix? That’s where Basement Sate comes in. This gorgeous bar in the site once occupied by Soho stalwart The Player offers expertly crafted cocktails along with desserts to die for.
Take me to the candy shop…
Although the food focus is most definitely on the sugary side, the cocktail menu combines some unique and creative ingredients to great effect. There’s a gimlet made with gin, yuzu Champagne syrup and sake, while a libation called simply ‘Leaf’ contains celery, white rum and sage agave resulting in a refreshing and herbaceous finish. And the décor is certainly not saccharine or twee – a tasteful yet trendy elegance gives Basement Sate ultimate cool credentials.
Best for when you’re feeling:
A craving to hit up the sweet stuff, even if it means loading up your second ‘pudding stomach’. It’s also good for when you want to listen to great DJs in a chilled yet hip environment.
Where is it?
In a basement, naturally. The entrance can be found on Broadwick Street, in the hub of London nightlife that is Soho. That classy brass plaque outside will steer you right.
Who to go with:
Not someone watching their figure or diabetics, that’s for sure. This is a place to be completely indulgent, so a friend with an insatiable chocolate habit will be your perfect partner. It’s also a fabulous way to end a date – the intimate surroundings combined with decadent desserts promise it will be a very sensual occasion.
So what’s the deal?
With a primary focus on two things, it’s essential both are executed to perfection. Fortunately, Basement Sate has taken the concept and pulled it off with aplomb. Everything from the carefully designed interior to the cocktail and dessert menus make it well worth having on your radar.
The desserts by chef Dorian Picard (formerly at Gordon Ramsey’s Maze) are an extravagant and exciting amalgamation of sweet treats to tempt even the most refrained types. The menu is complemented superbly by the interior – copper-topped tables, green leather armchairs and low lighting – that give it a feel of a swanky evening den for those who want to escape into a grown-up Hansel and Gretel-type world where the goodies on offer look almost too good to eat. But you will…
Seductive, tasteful and dynamic. This is a place to come and sit back, soak up the atmosphere, and even imagine you’re at an elite Parisian dessert club, if such a thing exists (and it should). Wait for the DJs to pump up the volume and find yourself up and dancing with the rest of them.
So what should I order?
We loved the Beet Me Up (beetroot, vodka and Moscato D’asti) with its earthy warmth of ginger, while The Timeless Crusta, made with Green Chartreuse, orange and cherry liqueur and cognac, lets the spirits do the talking.
Other menu items?
Uh, did we mention that this is the place for what may well be some of the best desserts in London?! Cocoa fanatics can do no better than the Chocolatine, a celebration of chocolate in its many forms, while the London-Brest mixes black sesame choux and praline cream to create a lighter-than-air whimsical dessert that fills your mouth with vanilla luxury.
Is it going to break the bank?
Cocktails range between £9-£13; desserts average around £9, but are such works of art and events in themselves, that we feel they warrant the price.
Some might think ‘dessert bar’ and imagine cupcakes, pastel gingham, and floral cake stands. However, Basement Sate are making desserts sexy again, creating delicious plates that look as tasteful and stylish as the interior in which you sit to eat them. But the most important factors are surely the cocktails, and this is where Basement Sate excels. Even if there weren’t sugary treats to tempt you, then this is one assured, competent and adventurous menu that delivers delicious libations to savour.
Open 5pm-12am. 8 Broadwick Street, London W1F 8HN. T: 020 7287 3412. basementsate.com
Rebecca Milford @rebbecca_anne_m