Always wanted to take that dream holiday to Hawaii? Well, we can’t help you there. Or maybe we can … welcome to London’s little slice of island paradise: POND Dalston. This happy haunt comes courtesy of Byron Knight, who has put his magic touch on places like Duke’s Brew & Que as well as Off Broadway (if you haven’t been to either of those, get them in the diary). The kitchen is manned by talented chef Frog Wong while the bar is pumping out elegant tropical cocktails by Megs DeMeulenare.
This is the capital’s first official New Hawaiian Cuisine restaurant, and it’s not taking that title lightly. You’ll find fresh twists on sushi, fiery hurricane popcorn, and delicately flaky yet full-flavoured sambal black cod. Drinks aren’t put on the backbench either. Try I forgot … to remember to forget. Bit of a mouthful, but damn is it tasty — a frozen blend of Quiriquiqui mezcal, Olmeca tequila, apricot liqueur and lemon juice. For a sweet and spicy mix, dive into Kona Storm with Bacardi 8 y/o rum, ginger shrub, velvet falernum and cardamom bitters. This is one storm you won’t want to miss.
This big industrial space manages to keep things warm and inviting with plenty of foliage and soft lighting. So bring the pals on down and say “aloha”.
Best Bars tip: If you work hospitality, then keep your eyes peeled for the industry nights launching in autumn. You’ll be offered up a feast of Hawaiian treats for just £15 a head, plus there will be casual chats and presentations from special guests. That’s some serious bar-to-bar love.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips