If Batman lived in West End, Sling Lounge is where he would hang out. Stepping off Boundary Street into the dark chambers filled with shelves of drinks, I am reminded of the excitement of underground caving. There are nooks and crannies on the way through to the cavernous lounge out back, which features a hanging garden of plants.

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The House Cocktail and a Sloe Gin Fizz

Sling Lounge is best known for its outstanding range of cocktails, which are mixed with the panache of its expert bartenders. The compendium of cocktails is heaved upon us, and we gladly sieve through the weighty tome to find a desired drink. I can’t go past The House Cocktail, which is made with gin, lemon juice, Maraschino, crème de violette, peach bitters, sugar syrup and kaffir lime leaves foam. The foam is the superhero of this combination, rising up beyond the rim like a meringue iceberg. Our waiter recommends a Sloe Gin Fizz to my companion—a classic which is generously executed.

TapasIt’s getting late, so we go to the food menu, which has obviously been well-thumbed by previous patrons reaching this time of the evening. There are some cheese and charcuterie options, which would be most appropriate for any occasion, but we go for a pizza and some tapas. Our tapas arrive on a triple-tiered tower: mega-tasty spring rolls filled with chicken breast and lime, diagonally cut and dipped in hoisin sauce, tender calamari served with pleasing fresh rocket leaves and cherry tomatoes and a tagliatelle with bountiful herbs and a selection of large, chewy brown mushrooms and delicate enokis.

Our second round of cocktails is more traditional: a Negroni and a Tom Collins. Both of these gin-based drinks are marvellous, made to an international-level quality. I can imagine that anyone enjoying a few rounds of Sling Lounge’s exceptional cocktails will also appreciate the food offerings—particularly when they are most needed.

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Chris Hassall