Beside but not attached to the Rubens Hotel, the Bbar exudes cultured Africana: black-and-white photographs of elephants and big cats, leopard-spotted lampshades, South African wines on the hundred-strong, categorised-by-taste wine list.
Some of the cocktails also have a springbok in their step, if in name alone: take, for instance, the Cape Town (Sazerac rye, Lillet Blanc, blue curação and bitters), named in honour of South Africa but otherwise bearing no trace of it. The 40-plus cocktails are mostly fuelled by quality spirits, with Hendrick’s gin combined with rosewater and lychees in an appealing rose petal martini.
Although the bottled beers also bear African labels (Namibian Windhoek), the food is international: burgers on naan bread, chicken liver pâté with melba toast and the like. The clientele are typical of the neighbourhood.