Lyaness barman Ryan Chetiyawardana on his dream final meal

Lyaness barman Ryan Chetiyawardana

The kick off to my last supper has to be martinis. There’s something about a martini: I always think of it as a perfect moment, you pause when you drink a martini and that centres you. We do a great one at Lyaness. To be able to share that with a loved one ahead of dinner is one of life’s perfect moments. I may as well go excessive in the final days so make it a martini and caviar.

I’m quite happy with being absolutely stuffed by the time I go out so even though this is not a starter, I’m going to start with dim sum. This dish was crucial to my life growing up. My oldest friend is half Chinese so we used to go and play rugby together and have dim sum with his family after. It feels like togetherness and comfort. I also think it’s probably the most technically driven and delicious thing in the world.

Usually I just have tea with dim sum but I’m also a fan of having a trifecta of liquids: tea, sparkling water and usually wine, so I’d have some excellent champagne. I’ll lean into some single estate Krug ‘cause why not? It’d be excessive but wonderful. I’d throw in some Omakase style, very fancy sushi alongside as a second starter. That would be great alongside some sake: you really taste the refinement and the expertise when you try superlative renditions of both sushi and sake.

Next I’m going to go for some real indulgence. As much as I like fancy things, I really just want fried chicken. There are a couple of places that do it very well. I once ended up in some late night place in Seoul run by this little old lady just by herself doing fried chicken and I would travel to Korea just to eat that dish. To have that fried chicken alongside some really baller burgundy would be a wonderful outro for me.

I’m going to double up my dessert because I might as well! I’m definitely going to have ice cream alongside a manhattan (another one we do well at Lyaness) because there’s something wonderful about the way they intertwine. They’re both rich and indulgent but there is nuance to both of them. And I’ll also have a crème brûlée, which to me is the perfect dessert. It can go so wrong so often but we’ll have it nailed. 

And then I’ll have a tiny little plate of cheese with a dram of Bowmore 1964 fino cask. I’ve often tried to find ways to emulate that but it’s just a snapshot of time. It’s from a different era and been given time to breathe, taking on this set of flavours that I’ve never encountered anywhere else. It’s a terrifyingly expensive bottle to get hold of, but it’s still the best thing I’ve ever tasted. It baffles me how barley, water and wood with the help of some microbes tastes more tropical than tropical fruit ever could.

There are certain products that make you feel reflective of the world, they’re so condensed and so complex, like a great piece of music. A glass of that with some cheese would be a lovely way to go.

Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, runs ‘the world’s best bar’, Lyaness, on the Southbank. For more go to mrlyan.com


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