77 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3SH (Map)
The first thing about Akbar that hits you is the smell, and we mean that in the nicest possible way. There are the Mughal Court spices from the Red Fort restaurant, the potent herbs used in the cocktails, scented oils and lotus flowers that float in bowls leading downstairs. The real feature, though, has to be the two nookie tunnels lined with banquette seating that prove popular with couples and gaggles of beautiful types alike. Of the cocktails, some of the more exotic are Shahad – a martini with honey liqueur, lemon, date-macerated Havana rum with lime and lemongrass cordial – and Great Mughat. You’ve got to love a drink described as ‘devastating’, and with raisin-infused Woodford Reserve, passion fruit, caster sugar, and lemongrass cordial with a hint of rosewater, we’re sure it is.