London’s White Lyan set to ‘evolve’

27th September, 2016 by Annie Hayes

Ryan Chetiyawardana’s revolutionary London bar White Lyan will “evolve” into a creative development space for collaborative projects next year following the completion of 5 concept menus over 10 weeks.


Ryan Chetiyawardana’s White Lyan bar will ‘evolve’ next year

Chetiyawardana will remain at the helm of the new project, which will see the Mr Lyan team join forces with some of the world’s leading chefs, pioneers, experimental centres and food labs.

Chetiyawardana said: “After three years it is now the right time to take the bar on to its next step, we wanted to challenge the notion of a bar being a static offering, rather than something that changes, evolves and develops. It allows us to fully focus on the creative process behind the drinks.”

White Lyan will re-open at the end of September following a refurbishment, when team will debut the first of five ten-week concept menus, each featuring 12 cocktails, which will run over the next 12 months.

Since launching, White Lyan has controlled its ingredients with everything either made on site or crafted individually for the bar, which also has a strict ‘no perishables’ policy.

A year-long series of revolving cocktail menus will continue to follow these principles, starting with Heaps Primal Bro. The four following menus are Waste Not, Want Not, Live Lots; Dear Darwin; Single Origin and Flavour is Dead, Long Live Flavour.

Alongside the limited menus, a menu of 10 classic White Lyan cocktails will run throughout the year, alongside their acclaimed retail line of bottled cocktails and Chetiyawardana’s book Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends.

Heaps Primal Bro is focussed on “primal urges and senses”, with each drink representing a “subconscious” element – ranging from the stimulating Katnip Kooler, of which consumers are only permitted to drink one per visit; to the 5pm Lullaby, to help transition the imbiber between “working for sustenance and relaxing for sanity”

The following menu, Waste Not, Want Not, Live Lots, focuses on sustainability with “the use of ingredients considered wasted abundance”, while Dear Darwin explores the manner how food systems have evolved through industrialisation and examines ingredients that have been lost or food culture that might exist if we had “evolved” in a different way.

Single Origin focuses on individual ingredients, heritage varieties, terroir, fauna and the human element – and promises to “really explore a particular ingredient or area, looking at its social and anthropological history as much as its geographical location”.

The final offering, Flavour is Dead, Long Live Flavour, explores contradictory ideas and new concepts around how people enjoy drinks – from textures to rancio, ‘dead’ ingredients to disregard for flavour across cultures and venues.

Heaps Primal Bro launched at White Lyan on 23 September, with details and dates of the subsequent menus announced throughout the year.

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