Les Couilles du Chien
You’ll need a bit of French know-how to understand the full cheekiness of this bar’s name: Les Couilles du Chien – or The Dog’s Bollocks – is the new, neon-lit bar attached to Arbutus Restaurant, a decade-long stalwart of the Soho dining scene.
Those couilles don’t manifest in name alone: those with a hankering for the family jewels need to try signature ‘Load of B****ks’ plate of lamb testicles and tripe. These fried little nuggets are similar to sweetbreads, perfectly crunchy and innocuously moreish (the tripe, rendered almost inedibly hard in the deep-fat fryer, was less a temptation). But even if you’d rather not, there are a number of other finger-foods to enjoy alongside your cocktails, from pulled lamb tortillas drizzled in fermented whey to chicken parfait and damson.
The cocktails here are as interesting as the snacks. The house drink blends mescal, amaro, rum, and a splash of beer, plus piquancy in the form of a pinch of sea salt. The chile-laced Red Devil is laced with a pleasing heat. And the Z-Boys, with raisin- and vanilla-infused rum, was an admirable liquid dessert.