On Broadwick Street, there’s an unmarked door, flung open to reveal a floral corridor. This is the place, even if you do wonder if you’re about to wind up in someone’s living room or (more likely, given this is Soho) the workplace of a ‘lady of the night’! But no – at the bottom of the stairs and through the plain door you’ll find Basement Sate, the recently opened venue that’s putting the focus squarely on the best elements of any evening: cocktails and dessert.
We visited the week the new winter menu was launched, on a Tuesday – certainly the best day to stop by, as it’s the only night that the pairing menu for two is available. A dessert and a cocktail per person, perfectly paired for maximum complementation, for £36. We leaned heavily on our waiter for this, happy to be guided to his favourites, and ending up with two quite delectable pairs. The desserts are small, rich in flavour and delicately presented, with a myriad of fruity, chocolatey, spiced and nutty flavour stories to choose from.
Ellen’s Autumn Leaves featured morsels of caramelised puff pastry with spiced butternut cream and Dulcey foam, adorned with edible gold leaf; balanced with a Bakewell Something (of rum, port, cherry and almond), it was a sweet tooth’s dream, without being sickly.
My Lost Bread was a spiced French toast with more-ish peanut cream and candied figs. Super nutty in flavour, it was complemented by a Coffee Situation – a Manhattan-style cocktail with coffee-infused vermouth.
Basement Sate is the absolutely perfect place to have up your sleeve for when a date has gone well – you’ve had a drink, progressed to dinner, and you’re looking for a nightcap. The hidden speakeasy nature of this place makes it an impressive venue, and the bar itself couldn’t be better suited to a date situation: very low lighting, lots of sofas for canoodling, cubby holes for privacy, and a menu of nightcaps and sweet morsels to finish the night with.
The furniture is very luxe, the bathrooms are stocked with Aesop and the staff are knowledgeable. My only tiny criticism is a slight lack of soul to the place, but I put that down to it being Tuesday – perhaps the ambience later in the week would be more lively.
8 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F