This May, London’s intimate cocktail bar, The Malt Bar & Lounge at The Prince Akatoki, is set to introduce a new curated cocktail menu, ‘A Journey Through Japan’. The menu is a tribute to the flavours and aromas of Japan, with each cocktail drawing inspiration from a unique Japanese prefecture and the local ingredients it produces. It will change seasonally, ensuring that each ingredient is used at its peak, through spring to winter 2023.

The Prince Akatoki invites Londoners to embrace the refined elegance of Japan and experience the epitome of Japanese hospitality at the Malt Bar & Lounge. The bar’s manager, Francesco Pittala, renowned for his simplistic yet striking cocktails, has pushed the boundaries of mixology. Focusing on single Japanese ingredients like Lotus and Sesame, he has meticulously created a balance of taste and aroma in each cocktail. To extract the full spectrum of undiscovered flavours within each ingredient, he has used innovative lab equipment, such as the GiroVap and a PacoJet machine, which has been utilised to craft unique offerings like whisky and cherry ice cream.

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Francesco Pittala explains, “The concept behind a seasonally changing cocktail menu was to guide guests on an exploration through forgotten Japanese territories, igniting a sense of nostalgia for Japan and the diverse produce of its regions. We’ve employed an array of techniques from redistilling to fermenting to create each cocktail, drawing from my 14 years’ experience in mixology.”

Cocktail connoisseurs can look forward to an enticing variety of flavours, inspired by the regions of Hokkaido, Yagamata, Miyazaki, Ume, Shiba, and Akita. The selection of local aromas features Daikon, Shikuwasa, Amazake, Perimoon, and Leache leaves, all of which have been adapted by the Malt Bar & Lounge team using modern techniques such as fermenting grape juice and brewing chestnut honey.

To complement the cocktails, the bar menu also features a range of delectable savoury snacks, including lotus root crisps, buttermilk fried chicken with gochujang mayo, beef fillet tataki with ponzu and garlic crisps, and goat’s cheese crostini with honey, walnuts, and umeboshi. From 6 pm, the sushi bar opens, offering a selection of nigiri and maki rolls, salmon bites, and tuna tartar with avocado, miso, and lotus crisps. The Prince Akatoki’s new cocktail menu is an invitation to savour a taste of Japan in the heart of London.

Where: 50 Great Cumberland Pl, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD