Love taxidermy and sniffing out hip new east London venues before anyone else? This cocktail joint will be right up your street, then.
Satan's Whiskers is the latest offering from the beverage lovers behind Victoria Park's Hemingway pub and Dalston's The Hunter S, and it's sure to please those who love finding new venues in undiscovered east London corners. While it's only a short stroll from Bethnal Green station, the immediate area is yet to suffer an influx of hipster-heavy bars, with most of the nearby establishments still holding a strong East End locals' vibe.
Enter Satan's Whiskers and you'll immediately be absorbed in the unique taxidermy, which includes a smoking monkey, a badger with additional human genitals and a dog's head on the wall. This jazzes up the stylish yet failsafe combination of funky, patterned wallpaper, exposed brickwork and tiles, dimmed lighting and dark wooden floors. If you love real attention to detail, head to the toilets, where you'll find rather interesting artwork on the walls. The bar area is a good size, with stool seating opening up chat between customers and staff.
Currently still a hidden spot, this bar has a relaxed atmosphere with attentive staff. Like the Hemingway and The Hunter S, Satan's Whiskers is designed to attract the young and fashionable 20- and 30-somethings that live and work in the area. And its close proximity to the tube makes it an ideal stop-off for those on their way home who might live in neighbouring Hackney or Whitechapel. During the week, the music has a more mellow vibe, while on the weekends it cranks up a notch. Expect to hear a range of dance, hip hop and pop sounds, all of which are known to alter the mood of the bar staff.
The menu changes daily, but you'll find dishes under categories such as ‘two fingers’ – think tiger prawns in a garlic & chilli dressing (£5.50) and mini baked Camembert with mixed breads (£6.50) - and 'four fingers', including a grilled halloumi roll with gherkin, American mustard and rocket (£6.75), and a half-kilo of wild mussels in garlic, chilli and coriander with fries on the side (£7.50). Finally, the ‘many hands’ menu, includes sharing plates such as a cheese board (£9.50). Side options such as sweet potato fries (£3.50) are available, too – a small portion of perfectly made fries, which are slightly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and gently salted to well complement the sweet flavour.
The focus is very much on cocktails at Satan's Whiskers, and the venue has a regularly changing menu to keep things interesting. If you're after a long drink, try the Ivy Fizz (£7.50) – while it could benefit from less ice and a more generous serving of alcohol, it's like a vodka, lime and soda with a fresh minty twist, making it a deliciously refreshing drink. Equally, the Salty Dog (£7.50) with vodka, pink grapefruit and pink salt is very tasty, but doesn't seem too alcoholic in flavour – a dangerous pick that lives up to the bar's devilish name. If cocktails aren't your thing, there are several wines on offer, including Prosecco (£27.50), Sauvignon Blanc (£21), Malbec (£21) and Pinot Noir (£27) bottles. The beer selection is fair, with Dixie (£3.90), Brooklyn (£4.25) and Sierra Nevada (£4.50) on offer.
The Last Word
Unique, striking and cocktail-focused, this undiscovered spot is the ideal place for both date nights or drinks with friends. Get to Satan's Whiskers before it becomes a hipster hot spot where you’re bound to endure a patience-testing wait for those boozy drinks.