Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD
In one of the most unexpected power plays in the bar industry in recent times, Dandelyan, The World’s Best Bar 2018, sponsored by Perrier, was dramatically closed in early 2019, very much at its peak. Out went the much-loved Modern Botany cocktails, to be replaced by a brand new bar for the South Bank Sea Containers London hotel site: Lyaness. Operator and chief schemer Ryan Chetiyawardana’s new concept is a departure, but continues to play with perceptions of what cocktails can be. Under the microscope at Lyaness are everyday ingredients, with the debut menu unpicking the myriad flavours that the likes of pineapple, raspberry and banana can be bent to produce. To the unwitting drinker the menu appears simple, but there’s always complexity under the bonnet – the mad scientist facet of Chetiyawardana’s personality isn’t easily suppressed. One of Lyaness’s weirder base ingredients is Onyx – a collaborative custom liquid that plays with the very definition of what a spirit is. That’s Chetiyawardana – always questioning, never relying on glories past.