As the Mr Lyan team gear up to close down flagship Shoreditch bar White Lyan for good, Imbibe can exclusively reveal what is to follow… for half of the venue, at least. Because it’s going to be split into two parts, with the basement being renamed Super Lyan, and the ground floor set to be announced in a few weeks.
Keeping the bare brick walls, leather booths and the stripper pole of White Lyan’s basement, the focus of the Super Lyan menu is going to be classic cocktails, given the Mr Lyan treatment. ‘It will have elements that are very familiar to people. In essence, we are going to be doing classic cocktails, but we’re doing it in our way because we still think there needs to be a different conversation around that style of thing,’ revealed founder Ryan Chetiyawardana.
‘It will be focused and you can come and order a Gin & Tonic, but we’re going to try and put our spin on another set of familiar things – in this case classic cocktails – never saying that it’s the definitive way or the best way of doing it. It will just be our way. It’s going to be very playful still, we always see it as a warmth of service, it will still have what we aim for in a clarity of flavour.’
The team will even use ice and citrus – previously banished ingredients at White Lyan. ‘I still believe a huge amount in the idea of dilution and the idea of control and acidity, but we’re just going to take those lessons in a different way. One of the things that annoyed me about the idea of [cocktail]formulas is why would you apply a formula when all of those elements are different? Okay, your Daiquiri recipe is this, but is it always that? Is it different if the spirit is different? The acidity in that lime is going to change. We’re going to still be considerate about how we use an ingredient, what ends up in the bin, all those things.’
As for waving goodbye to White Lyan, Chetiyawardana is currently philosophical about it all. ‘I’m not so precious that I’ll go, “This is important to me therefore it’s going to last forever.” I think there is probably going to become a pang of nostalgia when we get close to closing it, at the moment we’ve all been quite clinical. To us it’s just the next stage of what’s happening. It’s great to see the industry continue to evolve. I think there are other hard conversations that need to be had and we’ve got the space to do it, we’re not shackled by anything.’
Super Lyan is set to open on 14 April.
A sneak peek at the Super Lyan cocktail menu…
Chambord, gin ‘sizzurp’, lemon, Guinness
Bacardi Carta Blanca + Ocho, lemon, green herbs, Peychaud’s & avocado leaf bitters
Dewar’s 12yo, Ancho Reyes, Del Maguey Vida, lemon, pine honey