Dandelyan, Southbank: bar review
New menu The Modern Life of Plants aims to take acclaimed bar Dandelyan's conversation about sustainability to an industrial scale
Since he first set up shop in London, Ryan Chetiyawardana – the mixologist behind a raft of sustainably focused bars, known more commonly as Mr Lyan – has focused on creating drinking experiences that do more than serve up delicious cocktails. Whether it's a list of drinks created using no fresh ingredients or ice at his Hoxton bar White Lyan (now Super Lyan) or the zero-waste bar and restaurant Cub (co-owned by sustainable food evangelist Doug McMaster), his projects are designed to get the mind going just as much as the tastebuds, and to get drinkers and diners thinking about sustainable sourcing and living at every turn.
With the new menu at his bar Dandelyan, at the Mondrian London hotel on the Southbank, Chetiyawardana and award-winning head bartender Alex Lawrence's focus turns to industrialisation – especially seeing as this World's 50 Best Bars runner-up is a venue that serves drinks on a high-volume basis.
More influenced by teeming markets, factories and the urban metropolis than small-scale agriculture and other things normally associated with the sustainability conversation, The Modern Life of Plants recognises that a large-scale system is necessary to feed the world's population.
The BC3 Negroni – with its deep, Irn-Bru colour, a bitterness you feel in the jaw and a pleasing honeyed sweetness – explores bees: by using pollen, aged honey and propolis (a compound made naturally by bees in the hive and often used as a health food) it showcases the raw, processed and industrialised form of the same raw material. The good thing for drinkers? Whether the drinks make you think or not, they're still invariably delicious.
Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD; morganshotelgroup.com