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News & Views Zenna launches capital cocktail bar

Located beneath the famous Red Fort restaurant in Soho’s Dean Street, the recently opened Zenna is claimed to be the first Indian cocktail bar in London. To reach the bar, guests descend steps lined with bronze water vessels filled with floating flowers and twinkling candles. The walls are painted an exotic azure blue and there are plush blue velvet stools and silk-upholstered gold chairs dotted throughout.

Decorated with Italian tiles, soft leather and Oriental rugs, Zenna has a stunning bar entirely covered in shimmering metallic discs as the centrepiece. Low, warm lighting and discreet alcoves with exposed brick- work create a distinctive ambience. Zenna’s drinks list reflects the Indian décor with a unique cocktail menu using cardamom, lemongrass, ginger and sweet spices among other ingre- dients. Highlights include a refresh- ing Coriander & Lychee Daquiri with Chairman’s Reserve Rum, fresh lime, lychee juice and coriander leaves and a Chai Tea Martini made with fresh Chai, Stolinaycha Vodka and Apricot brandy.

Only the very brave, however, should try the Illiana. Named after the mytho- logical Indian golden dragon, it holds the title of the ‘world’s hottest cocktail’ and is a potent blend of Chairman’s

Reserve Spiced Rum, orange Curacao, almond syrup, lime and orange juice with just one drop of the secret chilli potion. This cocktail is so spicy that guests must sign a waiver on order- ing and it comes with its very own ‘fire extinguisher’ accompaniment - a soda siphon containing ice cold Bombay Sapphire Gin, lemon and soda water to help guests fan the flames after drinking.

The Lassi Menu, which will be avail- able throughout the day as well as in the evening, is another unique feature of Zenna, making it the first ever lassi bar in London. Lassis are fresh yoghurt drinks enjoyed throughout India, and are served sweet with fruit or sugars, or savoury with salt or spices. The menu at Zenna includes a range of lassis blended to order from banana, coconut, mango, ginger and lemon- grass and there is even a ‘superfruits’ option with blueberries, pomegranate, raspberry and acai.

Snacks and canapés are available to complement the drink menu. These

are cooked to order from The Red Fort kitchen, headed up by Chef Azadur and his team.

Dan Thomson, manager of Zenna, comments: “We wanted to create a contemporary bar that was still true to its Indian heritage and provide a chic and welcoming space in the midst of Soho. Zenna Bar is London’s first ever Indian cocktail bar and the carefully thought through flavours, recipes and ingredients used in the drinks list, as well as the authentic canapés, make it a unique offering in the capital.”

77 Dean Street, London, W1D 3SH Tel: 020 7437 2525 Web:

Spice Business Magazine 19 March 2011

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