First Aid Box (FAB) in Herne Hill – little sister to Shrub and Shutter – packs a mighty fine punch into the world of signature cocktails and food residencies.
We ventured down to meet the guys last month, Chris and Dave, owners of Salts of the Earth drink consultancy opened this place following the opening of The Shrub & Shutter (Time Out Love London Awards ‘Best Brixton Bar 2015).
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Picture this…. (no really, pause and picture it….) you walk into your mates pad, the atmosphere is buzzing, they’ve got a wicked cocktail bar set up in the middle of the room, a wall of spirits to die for, ‘tunes’ playing on the stereo, the foodies are whipping up a storm in the kitchen and the first question you get asked is what’s your poison…? Well yeh, that’s First Aid Box… It’s PROPER COOL, the guys are friendly decent chaps and chapesses – big shout out to Sammy the mixologist – all there, by the looks of it out of love, to help you enjoy your stay. It’s your call but I reckon you’ll leave having made a few mates…
Residencies are run of the mill at FAB, they invite chefs in to work their magic and feed the hungry people of #SELondon. Chef Levante Bonczidai was in residence when we visited. His classic French dinner menu with a British twist is rich, delicious and moorish and adds an element of ‘classiness’ to your visit.
We opted for the set menu (2/3 courses £20/£26). For starters, we had the pork terrine and potted mackerel with toast, the latter; fresh, creamy with an acidic twist, a definite ‘must try’ from the menu. For mains we dined on the pan-fried cod fillet with mushroom risotto and spring greens and the balkan chicken breast with new pots and mushroom butternut squash. As I write this my mouth is watering; the chicken was fresh and moist, the breadcrumbs delicate, the creamy rich garlic inside, all the better, perfectly accompanied by the sweet squash, a posh take on chicken kiev but well worth it.
For dessert, we enjoyed the hazelnut praline with white chocolate and elderflower pannacotta, and the wild berry cheesecake. YUM YUM!
The signature cocktails add an element of surprise to the night, the cocktail menu is packed with lovingly crafted cocktails with a Herne Hill twist. The Brockwell Park Bramble with Colonel Fox gin, Maraschino (some other stuff) and a Chambord syringe is sooo tasty and fun to play with – check out our Insta Boomerang….. Or try the There Will Be Blood for a kick and a wince or the Sesame Street sour, a great nostalgic twist on a whiskey sour. Rub your fingers around the base of the glass and see what you can smell…….. Sounds ominous I know but it’s worth it.
Abstract, trendy, clean lines, underground tiles, new york style bar, fun quirky signs, cool front interior with a warm, nook and cranny back room. The perfect escape from the world outside with your pals or for a cuddle and a nibble with a new date.
Saunter in and say hi, if they haven’t got a table I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy a signature cocktail until one becomes available or go online and book here.
First Aid Box serves from 5pm daily, with the exception of Saturdays, where Alchemy coffee, Jing tea and fresh juices are available throughout the day, with the addition of their health inspired cocktails long into the evening.
The signature cocktails and being given a drink with a plastic syringe for me to administer my own berry dew into the gin – great theatre!
What’s not so cool?
I love puddings but reckon the block of hazelnut praline alongside the pannacotta was a little too much sweetness, they’d maybe benefit from being separate or a little smaller but that’s just me.