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Jin Bo Law: Review

Finding your way up to Jin Bo Law, Dorsett City’s new rooftop bar, feels a bit like an obstacle course at first, featuring what might be the world’s slowest revolving door and a dedicated lift complete with red velvet rope.

Once you arrive, though, you’re rewarded with a compact but beautiful space, all gleaming bronze surfaces and marbled floors, with a large geometric pineapple looming over the bar and a tantalising glimpse of the view over London from the balcony. It’s reassuringly busy, full of groups out for work drinks, an excitable 30th birthday party and one timid hotel guest, who huddles at the bar for a single drink before retreating downstairs – a place for a quiet pint, this is not.

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Image credit: Banks Sadler

From our table the view across London rolls out, the top of St Katherine Cree and the Gherkin almost close enough to touch, rows of skyscrapers and a slightly smoggy sunset beyond them. The balcony is narrow but spans the full length of the bar, with glass railings (there’s a reassuring metre or so of extra space past the edge – we checked).

The cocktails take a while to arrive, but a smiley hostess with a beautiful manicure brings us some water while we wait. All the staff are very attentive and knowledgeable about the cocktail list, everyone we speak to keen to offer their recommendations.

We try the East/West Cobbler first, a tall drink containing Absolut Citron, St Germain elderflower and yuzu. It has a delicate taste, not too sweet as some pineapple-based drinks can be, although it could do with more flavour.

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Peas of Mind isn’t quite citrusy enough for its egg white foam topping, the end result a little cloying and reminiscent of a boiled sweet, but not too unpleasant in the small quantity it’s served in.

Escalator #2 appears next and more quickly this time, a recommendation from our server containing apple brandy, soy and vermouth. Arriving in a dinky little Chinese medicine bottle, it’s a drink so strong that two separate strangers come over to warn us about it. The experience is a bit like the taste equivalent of a flambé – a hot rush of flavour, not much of an aftertaste, but a warming sensation in the throat. We wouldn’t be able to handle a second, though.

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The last cocktail we try is also the one that would have us returning to Jin Bo Law every week for the rest of our lives. Butterfly Punch is a traditional punch recipe, containing silver needle jasmine tea and vodka, and while it smells not unlike a homemade ‘cocktail’ we remember from our student days, the taste is beautiful, fruity and a little flowery, with a warm hint of honey melting on the tongue like an apple pie. We’re disappointed to reach the end of the glass.

As it gets dark the lights of the city twinkle in from the balcony – here in the beginning of May it’s starting to get a little chilly, but this will be a lovely spot in the summer. Bring a date or some friends after work, settle in and enjoy the view.

We’re told they’re still developing the cocktail menu, so there might be a few changes in the coming months, but Jin Bo Law obviously know their drinks. If they take Butterfly Punch off that menu, though, we’ll never forgive them.

Jin Bo Law, 14th Floor, Dorsett City Hotel, 9-13 Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AH. Full details and opening hours.

Cocktails are £12.

Just Opened was invited to review Jin Bo Law on a complimentary basis. We retain full editorial control.

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