Match Bar, W1G 0JF
- 020 7629 7551
- 37-38 Margaret Street, W1G 0JF
- 11am-midnight Mon-Sat; closed Sun
A decent cocktail bar not too far from Oxford Circus Station, one of a small chain with outposts in Ibiza and Melbourne.
Inside the bar is long and thin, with some large couch areas at the front and a row of four-person tables running back to the bar, as well as some more private seating up some stairs at the side of the room. There's also a room at the back of the bar which can be booked out (as can any of the tables in the main area, so on busy nights you may find that many of the best tables are already taken).
Drinks can be ordered and paid for at the bar, or there is table service by waitresses (though of course service will be added to your drinks cost), and you can start a tab with them or with the bar.
The drinks menu is heavy on cocktails and prides itself on the quality of its bar staff, who despite the strength of the menu, are happy to go off-menu. All cocktails are clearly mixed with some care, with the bar staff checking the taste throughout the mixing process to ensure the quality.
On Ewan's visit with friends in May 2008, all our cocktails were excellent and not too pricy (most of them are between £6.50 and £8). Particularly good were the Dark & Stormy (£6.50, rum, lime and ginger beer), the Space Gin Smash (one of their own creations, £6.50, gin, grapes, elderflower, mint, lemon and apple juice), and the Strawberry Nirvana (£7, gin, strawberries, honey and agave, lemon juice and maraschino liqueur). They were also able to put together an excellent Sazerac (£7, cognac and rye mixed over ice and served in an absinthe-coated glass) for me.
Apart from cocktails, there are some bottled Meantime beers (£3.50 for a Union dark beer), and a decent wine list (pinot noir is the priciest glass of red at £5.50 for 175ml, but perfectly good).
There is a bar food menu, with snacks (around £1.50), smaller dishes (£4-£5) and mains (around £8-9). Ewan's refried beans quesadilla was crispy and tasty, though not too large (£5). The portion of chips (£3) was also a fairly substantial size and served in a small metal bucket, with ketchup and mayo.