Alex Kratena, formerly of Artesian (World’s Best Bar winner four years on the trot) and TÁ TÁ Eatery have recently teamed up to open all-day bar and restaurant Tayer + Elementary on Old Street. With one of the best mixologists around plus the purveyors of the London’s hottest food item, the katsu sando, we were straight down there to check it out when it opened.
With a mix of Japanese and Scandi vibes, the venue is split in two. The all-day Elementary is at the front and serve bottomless coffee and light lunches in the daytime, with a seasonal food and cocktail menu featuring drinks on draught in the evening. We got started on a couple of seasonal cocktails here before dinner, sampling the Rhubarb Royal – Francinet-Remy Champagne and rhubarb – plus the Rhubarb Highball, made from Tayer vodka, rhubarb cordial and soda.
Tayēr, which is set in a much bigger room behind the main bar is more experimental, with a daily changing menu of drinks. Alex’s partner in Tayer + Elementary is mixologist Monica Berg, who was behind Himok in Oslo, and the bar uses lots of exclusively made spirits and drinks; they’re already working with the likes of Empirical Spirits in Copenhagen, Northumberland’s Hepple Gin, Partisan Brewery in Bermondsey and Jarr Kombucha on batches.
Moving to Tayer for dinner and our next round of cocktails, we sampled a punchy concoction of Maker’s Mark, Minus 8 Verjus, and Noily Prat vermouth. There was also an amazing plum and Tayer Tequila combo that turned out to be the perfect match for the katsu sando which came next.
TÁ TÁ Eatery, run by Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves, are in charge of the food and of course the star menu item is their Iberico katsu sandwich: a thick slab of Iberico pork coated in breadcrumbs, fried and sandwiched between slices of toasted brioche. If you’ve had it before you won’t be disappointed, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you need it in your life so get down there quick. There are also a range of daily-changing specials to tuck in to, such as turbot tartar with tobiko dressing and yuzu.
With genuinely creative cocktails that, crucially, are still a pleasure to drink, plus one of London’s most trendy pop-ups, Tayer + Elementary is a killer combination of talent. We’re sure it’s going to do very well indeed so this is definitely one for your hit list.
152 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BJ
Photo credit: Bernard Zeija