Mass food and industrialisation aren’t exactly the kind of themes you’d expect a bar to build a menu around – at least not intentionally – but then the team at Dandelyan has never been one to shy away from a challenge.
The latest menu for the bar in the Mondrian London, The Modern Life of Plants, is a departure from the bar’s first four Modern Botany series of menus, and marks the start of a new series. While it has the bar’s focus on botany in common with past menus, this new approach explores the industrialisation of plants. So don’t expect to see the familiar trends of seasonality and foraged ingredients. Instead, expect an exploration of the positives of industrialisation, like waste management. Hardly a surprise considering Chetiyawardana transformed half of the former White Lyan site into zero-waste restaurant Cub last year.
For a full year, starting from 6 March, the menu will focus on three core year-round ingredients. Each will feature in four drinks – including one boozeless execution – that will be updated three times in the year. That doesn’t mean there won’t be the unusual and in-house ingredients we’ve come to expect. Drinks from the new menu include ‘companion crop soda’ and ‘carrot-currant cordial’, for example. And, as in previous menus, nostalgic regulars will have a selection of drinks from past menus to choose from too.
‘We had a lot of fun with the previous menus, but want to build on that success and challenge ourselves with a new direction,’ said Dandelyan founder Ryan Chetiyawardana. ‘The focus of the next book marks an honest and critical view of what is happening in the world of food and drink, and a realistic vision for what this means for farming, sustainability, creativity and really what we think happens next in this golden age of cocktails.’
In 2016, Ryan C and team picked up the top award at our very own Drinks List of the Year.