Dubbed “World’s Best Bar” at last year’s Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, and runner-up at World’s Best 50 Bars 2017 (to name only a few of their more recent titles), Dandelyan is almost synonymous with innovation in the hospitality world. Since its opening in October 2014 off the Thames path in Mondrain at Sea Containers, the bar has gone from strength to strength, with exciting new menus being created by the exceptional team. The latest menu is now live, and this year explores the idea of “The Modern Life of Plants”.
Each year Ryan Chetiyawardana and his team at Dandelyan devise a totally new theme for its array of cocktails, and with it a new menu is born. This year, however, the idea is going further than ever before, with the fifth menu tackling a novel new concept.
The focus here is on three core ingredients that have been used to form the backbone of the new menu, utilising single plants to highlight important aspects of the food industry. This menu – termed The Modern Life of Plants – is intended to tackle bigger ideologies of the positives of industrialisation, on how these focus plants are now available all year round and limit waste management.
Dandelyan is creating a brand new series for its annually-shifting menus, which will change over the course of the year. The drinks, therefore, will be so much more than just drinks, with the likes of an Old Fashioned that highlights the cloning of grapes or a hop-based drink covers topics as broad as technological advancements and how city living may end up in the future.
Each focus ingredient has four drink concepts tied to it within the menu, and an accompanying non-alcoholic equivalent that also leverages each of these core ingredients.
The new menu still includes the expected unusual ingredients that Dandelyan is well-known for, but the team is continuing to push itself by making use of biodynamic crops and ‘extinct’ species. For example, Air Raid Gimlet blends Mr Lyan Cream Gin, pearl barley and carrot-currant cordial whilst Standing Stones mixes Maker’s Mark whiskey, bitter strawberry old vine wine with lemon and honey.
“This is a really exciting direction for us,” says Ryan of Dandelyan’s new conceptual menu. “We had a lot of fun with the previous menus, but want to build on that success and challenge ourselves with a new direction.” Ryan’s passion for sustainability has been clear from his first bar, the now closed White Lyan, upon whose site sits his latest venture, the zero waste Cub restaurant and bar. Dandelyan’s latest menu continues down this same vein and promises to be just as engaging as previous iterations. The master mixologist explains that he wants to draw attention to “an honest and critical view of what is happening in the world of food and drink,” and hoping the new menu will give an idea of what the future for farming, sustainability and creativity will bring. As he puts it, the new menu is what he and his team believe “happens next in this golden age of cocktails”.
The new menu is now available at Dandelyan in Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD
Words by Adam Barnes