The Gin Bandits
Bōkan, Canary Wharf London
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Our review has not been influenced by anyone at Bōkan and we have not been paid for this review.
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to check out the rooftop restaurant/bar at Bōkan in Canary Wharf. Situated across the top three floors of the stylish Novotel hotel, Bōkan boasts a restaurant on the 37th floor, a lively bar with a great selection of gin on the 38th floor and an amazing Hendricks themed roof terrace on the 39th floor which boasts 360° views of the London skyline.
When we arrived, we were greeted by Coco who showed us to our table on their roof terrace with an amazing view across London. With the open air seating and chill out background music, this is a terrace bar we should have visited a long time ago, especially as Mr Bandit works just a stone's throw away, also in Canary Wharf. Last week, we visited Vertigo in Tower 42 at Liverpool Street but the views and setting there are no comparison to the ones at Bōkan
We were given a menu showcasing a great range of different cocktails and some light bites and sharing plates. As always, we turned straight to the gin cocktails. Mr Bandit opted for a cocktail called ‘The Sea Perfume’ which is a mixture of Hendricks Gin, Sea Cordial and Lime, but served in a glass wrapped in seaweed and garnished with fresh mint. With every sip, you get the smell of the sea which is followed by a citrusy minty flavour, which is similar to a gin mojito. Mrs Bandit went for ‘The Red Seal’ which is a combination of Botanist Gin, Jasmine Dragon Pearl Tea, Pomegranate and Tattinger Champagne - It was certainly an upgrade on your standard gin fizz!
We then ordered some sharing plates and snacks. A Cheesemonger’s Tile (a selection of British cheeses from Paxton & Whitfield, apricot chutney and some crackers), Butcher’s Tile (a selection of British Charcuterie from Canon & Canon, cornichons, balsamic pickled onions and crackers) Crispy Squid with sweet & sour sesame sauce (these were to die for) and some Nacho Balls and Padron peppers from the snack menu. All the food was delicious, and just the type of picky food you can enjoy while sipping cocktails.
For our next cocktails, Mr Bandit went for a ‘Madama Butterfly’ which is VII Hills gin infused with butterfly pea, Cointreau, lemon, lavender and eucalyptus with egg white. The use of the butterfly pea mixed with the egg white gives this drink an amazing lilac hue, this is then garnished with a couple of drops of angostura bitters and an edible butterfly. Mrs Bandit went for ‘The Lost Word’ – Sipsmith VJOP, yellow Chartreuse, raspberry & mint shrub, lime, creole bitters infused with bergamot.
We then headed inside to the bar for some G&Ts where we met and talked all things gin with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable Bar Manager, Johnny. He was a great guy and recommended different Franklin & Son's tonics to go with Bokan’s wide range of gins. Some stand out gins we tried from their collection were Willem Barentsz Gin, 209 Gin and Hendricks Orbium (we are now planning to add these to our collection!). We also got to try the new Franklin & Son's Mallorcan tonic which is really nice and as advised by Johnny, worked really nicely with the 209 and the Hendrick's Orbium. We also tried their signature serve for Hendricks Summer Solstice gin which they pair with Franklin & Son's pink grapefruit and bergamot tonic (Yum).
We really enjoyed our evening at Bōkan and we would definitely recommend a trip to Canary Wharf to experience it for yourself. Whether you’re looking for somewhere for after-work drinks, a business lunch or if you’re celebrating that special occasion, Bōkan has it all and you won’t be disappointed.
The Gin Bandits
P.S. The toilets are also incredible!