CALLOOH CALLAY: ONE FOR THE SKINNY JEANED SLITHY TOADS OF SHOREDITCH
The bars of Shoreditch and Hoxton, it would appear, are growing up. You still get the grim new openings, places like Road Trip where over chilled, over priced lager is handed to people who neither know, nor care what they are drinking by people who neither know nor care what they are serving and places like the Hoxton Pony and Hoxton Hotel where semi decent mixing is lost in a barrage of shrieking music and appalling service.
However, with Hawksmoor still in its pomp and Lounge Bohemia providing understated excellence, there is a sign that both outlets and punters in London's hippest nabe are after something a little more challenging than just somewhere to stand around in skinny jeans.
Now, there is Callooh Callay, taking its rather silly name from Jabberwocky and its design style direct from the Lower East Side. The music is still too loud for someone in their fifth decade, but there are signs from the menu and the mixing, overseen by bar manager, Sean Wear that this is a bar with serious intentions when it comes to drinks.
A perfect Manhattan was spot on with the house bourbon, Woodford Reserve supported by the right amounts of sweet and dry vermouth and a daiquiri had the correct balance of rum and lime. My companion for the evening, Chelsea had just joined the long line of people who have been made redundant recently and needed cheering up. Something girly, boozy and pink seemed to work better than my suggestion that she “consider hooking or allowing people to eat off you”
There is still work to be done. The back bar looked interesting but small and the staff are still finding their feet. But Callooh Callay looks like it could be an interesting addition to a neighbourhood whose expectations seem to be getting higher all the time.