The Mekan in Mayfair: Exquisite cocktails for an indulgent Anatolian experience
There’s a treasure trove of Anatolian delights to be found in Mayfair: excitingly spiced cocktails await at the Mekan. Just one year ago, Turkish restaurant Rüya – led by chef Colin Clague – launched their bar, perfecting their concoctions to gift a distinct and luxurious experience. With dim lights, velvety sofas and a soothing dark palette, as well as a towering Nazar right at the entrance of the main space and smaller one behind the counter, the venue emanates a rich atmosphere that speaks of eastern taste within a comfortable European setting.
There is plenty to choose from on the menu. The cocktails come with standard central London price tags, sitting at an average £15. They are grouped according to the seven areas of the Anatolian region, inspired by the main ingredients available and the characteristic natural features of each one. The dominant element in each glass is signified by a symbol on top of the name. A pretty good selection of whiskeys is also on offer, followed by an interesting array of mezcal and raki, a pleasant yet unusual extension.
We begin with some bubbles from the Mediterranean coast. The Anatolian Fizz is a delicate, raspberry-based mix of champagne and Tanqueray gin. The presentation is as lovely as every sip.
Things start to spice up when we move towards the Southeast. Among the signature cocktails, the Lokum is a must. The champagne foam provides a soft introduction to the golden liquid below, with the Ketel One vodka packing a strong punch.
Beyond the Sea has a similar composition, but differentiates from the previous offering due to its smoky aftertaste. The lavender, Lillet blanc and bergamot roots Mastiha give it a smooth texture, enveloped in a drop of honey.
The Rüya Negroni comes highly recommended due to the original fusion of Turkish Coffee and Campari. It is a heady drink indeed – a superb twist on your usual negroni.
In between, we are served some delicious Anatolian snacks. If new to the cuisine, these small plates might seem a bit fatty, but their full-bodied consistency proves the perfect accompaniment for the drinks. The lightest and our favourite of the selection is the Lahmacun, minced spicy lamb finely mixed with herbs, everything wrapped in flatbread. The Isli Patlican and the Börek, the first aubergine-based and the second feta-filled, provide different yet equally appetising options.
A new entry on the menu is the satisfying conclusion of the night: the Nazar Sour, featuring an intriguing and Instagrammable Nazar eye on top of the egg white foam. The Meteoro Mezcal is unquestionably the protagonist, powerfully but simply enhanced with pear purée and lemon juice.
The elegant satin feeling of Mekan’s decorations and the look of its creations is exquisitely reflected in the ambrosial cocktails.
★★★★★Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Cristiana Ferrauti
To book a table at Mekan, 30 Upper Grosvenor Street London W1K 7PH, call 020 3848 6710 or visit their website here.