Nuala Bar (CLOSED)
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A wood-clad Celtic bar beneath Nuala restaurant.
Please note, Nuala Bar is now closed. Time Out Editors, January 2019.
Irish pubs have cropped up the world over, but the country’s famed party spirit and warm-hearted welcome seems to be infiltrating London in other ways. Take Nuala, a Celtic restaurant just off the Silicon Roundabout from an ex-Chiltern Firehouse chef. He’s hired a host of talent from across the London hospitality scene to help raise the roof in the basement bar. Don’t expect rowdy hell-raising and four-leaf-clover decor: you’ll see winks to Irish tradition in old Guinness artwork, a wood-panelled room with red leather bar stools and flashes of green tiling – and The Pogues on the sound system. It calls to mind New York’s leading bar The Dead Rabbit: modern and polished but undeniably Irish.
The drinks line-up pulls no punches. Well, except for the kind you want: punch served in sharing jugs. Order by the glass and you get what seems a diminutive measure to suit a leprechaun, but it’s practical, since Punch No 3 contains sherry, cognac and two types of rum. A list of five cocktails holds native flavours in store, from parsnip to peat. I sipped away at The Manhattan Serve, cocktail perfection blending single malt whiskey, sherry and armagnac with honey and squash-seed oil for a nutty, smooth and sweet finish. The whiskey list is an astounding long read, while purists can also drink pints of Guinness poured with loving precision.
A strong-looking, flame-haired fury is on the bar’s logo, although I was served by a female bartender who was actually quite charming and totally talented at mixing drinks. Should you want to let your hair down like that lady on the logo, live music with an Irish lean is promised every night of the week, and an acoustic folk guitarist was just setting up as we were leaving. So go on: grab a booth, get in the punch and pints, and craic on with the good times.