Dirty Martini - Islington - London

Cocktail Bar, Bar, Bars and Pubs



74 Upper St, London, N1 0NY

+44 20 7632 2212




Based on 83 reviews.


Agregated reviews (83) Dirty Martini - Islington - London

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I had booked for me and my friend to go here for our birthdays after having 2 previous brilliant experiences at this venue.
When we arrived and gave our names for the guest list I should have seen the red flags that were indicating this is going to be a disaster. We were told we should have a table but no floor staff were available to seat us - no biggie we waited. Someone was supposed to meet us half way in to seat us but they didn't. We asked security where our table was, we were told booth number 5 but this meant nothing to us so we needed up walking around unsure. We asked again and then was pointed at a table with 1 seat. Again not the end of the world.

I ordered drinks at the bar and waited quite a while but that's ok the cocktails were well made. Would have been nice to have been advised we get table service to save the long wait on my feet but we live and learn.

A less than friendly waitress started shoving dirty glasses next to me at the bar so I moved along a bit to give her space - there was no acknowledgement or thanks. I sympathised as it's a bank holiday weekend must be busy and tiring. To break the awkwardness I asked about the cocktail deal, she flatly replied and stomped off so I put it down to long shift.

Later this same waitress was serving the table next to us all of whom we got talking to. They ordered drinks from her so we decided to get a last round in. She stomped off as soon as we tried to place our order and we had to wait for her to come to try again. She was abrupt, rude, smug and just so unpleasant to deal with. We asked the other table what their experience had been like and they said she'd been pretty miserable with them too.

She came back cleared the empty glasses and took away my friends drink that still had a good 1/4 left. When my friend came back and realised she politely and calmly raised it with the waitress and was told in the most patronising and condescending tones do you want it back then? We were beyond shocked at the now blatant rudeness and my friend asked to speak to management. The waitress looked at us smugly and said sure. As I figured it would be a case of feedback being left and noted I carried on talking to our new friends as I didn't think it required both our inputs.

When I turned back round I saw the manager hovering over my friend with a bouncer next to him asking her to come outside to explain what happened. I had just got a fresh round of drinks in and it was 10mins until closing. I explained that and asked if that's necessary and the manager said yes because she can't hear me. I said she is just complaining about how rude the staff was and can he wait for me to finish as it's almost closing time I'll come out and explain too and I was told I can sit and finish but she can come outside. I said I didn't feel comfortable sending her outside with 2 men and he replied what are they gonna do when there's cameras. This response made me feel uneasy as we were 2 lone females and I was shocked our complaint was being handled in this manner. I was then told by management that the waitress we complained about put in a counter complaint saying she had been threatened. I couldn't believe the lies. Furthermore the way in which the whole situation was being handled. I wanted to get out but had paid full price for the drinks that hadn't been drunk. As I was getting a refund and my friend was patiently talking to the manager about how disappointed she was I spotted the waitress smugly looking over and I was disgusted at the injustice.

We left quietly and will never be returning to this place again. I'm black, my friend is white. I like to think in 2017 racism has no place but the way we were dealt with despite being calm, polite and articulate is beyond belief. Our birthday celebration had been tainted and we will ne

1 by Review source

I booked a table on Saturday to celebrate mine and my friends birthday after a hostile greeting at the door and being told to come in and then left to find our own table , getting through our evening and returning from the loo to see my cocktail had been removed from my table I kindly asked the waitress to why she has taken it ? The attitude and shocking sarcasm was something I had never experienced. I was told it was finished and did I really want her to bring me back a small amount of a cocktail? To which I replied I had paid for it so yes and then to be laughed at by her and shaking her head I felt embarrassed and after waiting 10 mins a manager and security approached me to tell me I should come to the front door as I had threatened a waitress ! To say I was shocked is an understatement , I tried to explain what had happened and was told I wasn't allowed to stay and had to come outside which I found threatening as a female with 2 men hovering over me . No apology from the manager even after I had told him I worry for the loyalty and respect he's waitress clearly doesn't have for him as she would like so blatantly and for him to look back on CCTV and audio and confirm my story , I felt humiliated and embarrassed as a 35 yr old female to have been treated this way in a bar and spending my hard earned money in the bar . Never would I go there again . Disgusting behavior from manager and waitress the security man looked to the floor throughout and was extremely uncomfortable I felt sorry for him in that situation . I have no idea why the manager was hired .

1 by Review source


Nice interior but by the time me and my date (both sober and well-dressed) were 'allowed' in, the mood for the rest of the evening was utterly ruined as result of over-zealous, unnecessary thorough, very intimidating full body search at the entrance. I don't get this thorough body search even at a high-security sites I visit on business. Awkward reminder that I have to take my hat off on a cold street was another slap- sorry I have these basic manners and don't need anyone to lecture me when I am about do it anyway! Let people get inside first!! Have never been made to feel so cheap. Have visited much higher ranked places all over the globe without any of intimidation we had to endure last night. IT REALLY FELT LIKE A VISIT TO JAIL OR MAY BE LIKE VISITING NORTH KOREAN DICTATOR. 'Thanks' for ruining the evening and my date. Review by 50 years old man. Not someone who carries an axe. If you are an international visitor, like myself and accustomed to some decency and standards- avoid this place at all cost. It is nothing out of ordinary, prices are sensible but by the time you 'made it' through the door all you will have on your mind will be a bottle of whiskey, not an exclusive cocktail. 'Theater begins with the cloakroom' but this place is a circus. Cavity search next?

1 by Philip Alexander Review source

Dirty martini, dirty racist.
I have been to this place numerous times and had good times BUT it turned sour when i went back there with bunch of friends. We all got in, drank and dance and had solid fun UNTIL one of the bouncers hand-picked one of our friends, a black guy, who wasn't even as drunk as us to leave the club (for the reason that he was too drunk? The dude was just standing there in the bar, drinking!) The fact that the bouncer picked the least drunken black man instead the real drunk non-black people IS outrageous.
So then we all went outside, to seek for clarification to no luck. They can't even pin point anything specific as to why they needed to kick our friend out. Long story short, there were many people who wanted to get in and heard our quarrel decided not to come to this racist bar. And they masede the right decision.
Well that was a very unfortunate event and i despise any this kind of dirty racist places.

1 by Review source

Looks like a nice place from the outside. Unfortunately the door are manned by a numpty. Me and 2 males friends turned up at around 10 the bouncer ask us where we had come from (not sure if this knuckle dragger wanted me to explain the birds and the bees to him) but we said the earl of essex. We was then asked how much we had drank which we replied 3 pints and was then told we was too drunk to be let in I guess 3 pints on a Friday night is pushing it. We're in our early 30s were not scruffy, have professional jobs so not sure what the issue is as we were hardly a group of young trouble makers. It would appear the bouncer is on a bit of an ego trip and decided he wasn't going to let us in from the start which is fine as it's upper St so we just went to the next bar along, but thanks for wasting our time with stupid questions

1 by Review source

FOR THE FIRST TIME HAPPENED IN A VENUE, yesterday i went for a birthday.
Nice venues.
The foods was served in “finger food” style....no problem, now it’s a vogue...
But there have been problems when it has been served a CHOCOLATE CAKE and me and all 30 guests have been forced to eat it with the hands....in perfect PRIMITIVE STYLE, GETTING AND REMAINING WITH THE DIRTY HANDS!
I asked to have some forks but an embarrassed waiter answer me “SORRY HERE WE HAVEN’T FORKS”!
That’s incredibile that this happened in a public venue (also not of low level, as it is) and not in a Cavern, that’s incredibile that this happened when someone PAY to organise a party, that’s incredible that THE MANAGER ISN’T ABLE to imagine to take there neither the simple plastic forks at least for this kind of occasions?????
It’s shame!

2 by Gennaro Del Gaiso Review source

Have never come across such a bunch of unfriendly, arrogant bar staff. One or two were OK, but the majority of them were abysmal. Worst part of it, they didn't exactly have the skills to justify being like that; took ages to make a standard cocktail, and when it came, we found a champagne cork in it!

The night we were there, the bar staff broke plates/glasses at least 6 times - not counting the ones before we actually got there. So unless it was a one off, looks like they hire just about anyone for their bar staff.

There are heaps better places if you want decent cocktails where bar staff actually look like they want to be there. Prices were as expected...for a decent cocktail yes, not the ones we were served and most definitely not for one where there were corks in it.

1 by Count Drezzula Review source

Nice venue but waitress was incredibly inefficient & drinks ordered through her continuously never arrived so we ended up just ordering from the bar.
Barmen were friendly.
Snax were great
They triedcti close my deposit tab off with £30 still on & then didn't give me my card back at the end of the night.
I had to wait till 3pm the next day to get it back with no interest in head office to get hold of the manager to see if it could be done quicker despite that this day was my birthday and I was flying out of the country the next day.
Very disappointing service overall for amount of money we spent! But nice drinks.
Dj was also very unenthusiastic!

3 by Tamara Brnelic Review source

Waitress insists 'happy hour till 9' which we knew wasnt the case, -arriving at 7.45 with 15mins to get our special offers in-. Drinks come in very slow and the martinis are no longer filled up to reflect their cost. Bouncers standing amidst crowd of dancers in an already very cramped space is very inhospitable and inconvenient. Mixologists results are unpredicable and not always as delicious as they have known to be. Location and venue are pleasant though we are unsure whether complaints made on the night are actually adhered to.

3 by LM Review source

Booked 2 months in advance. Our table was taken by people when we arrived and the waitress moved us to a different table that was only available for 30mins. We then got asked to move to accommodate the later booking. Outrageous. Drinks were good (although service was slow and they got one order wrong).(edit) received apology from management along with an offer for a round of drinks. This time the experience was up to their standard. Amazing drinks and service. Thumbs up dirty martini!

5 by stefano vitali Review source

Terrible service. Place was almost empty but it took almost 20 minutes to make 2 cocktails. We were sitting down and had to walk to the bar to get the drinks once they were made as we hadn't been made aware they were ready. Almost got double charged too because I was told the payment didn't go through, told him I saw the approved screen, then he said it was OK. Only saviour was the cocktail was half decent but very small.

2 by Daire O Connor Review source

Alright place but not ideal for after work drinks with colleagues. The music is far too loud as if you were in a night club. You could just about hear the person sitting immediately next to you and you were completely unable to talk to/hear the person over the other side of the table. Very dark at the back. We wont be going back.

2 by Review source

Stood at bar for over half an hour, ignored! Walked out and the very nice doorman was shocked by the fact that we had been waiting so long and called the management. They kindly seated us at a table, took our drink order and half an hour later we had still not received our drinks so walked out again!

1 by Review source

An expensive, narrow and pretty unwelcoming slice of Upper Street optimism. Cocktails were not exciting - which always seemed to be the point of cocktails to me? The staff didn't seem too interested in our large group and were very slow making drinks, which could have been easily planned.

2 by Martin Noutch Review source

The only place I know so far that has happy hour until late night! Even on Friday they have happy hour until 21! Cocktail's quality is amazing, very proper and tasty.
A bit too noisy for long chat and not many seats. But still great bar!

4 by Gabriela Vachkova Review source

Took ages to get served. Then had a long Island iced tea that tasted like it had no alcohol in it. When I complained it did get taken back to the bar but the same glass was just served back to me again with no apparent change.

1 by Roaming Rosa Review source

Great cocktails, but it is way too noisy for it to be a place to hangout.
It's not people making the noise in what is often an empty place Monday to Thursday, but the music and the cocktail making the noise.

2 by David Rowley Review source

Went on Sunday for happy hour. Unfortunately we couldn't really taste the alcohol which makes me think they slightly water it down for happy hour. Flavours were good though and staff was very friendly.

3 by Alex Williams Review source

Just finished a great nights with Neek & G [not sure that’s their names but lovely Italian cousins] they really made our night with great suggestions and smiles. 29 drinks later & we’re still happy!

4 by Brittany Glasgow Review source

The cocktails are the best... but their new door policy has seen us abandon this favourite hangout of ours. If they stop with the 'Are you on the list' attitude, then we may decide to go back...

3 by Greg Clough Review source

Amazing cocktails with 241 offers at happy hour - all the better! Downside is slow and average customer service, staff are more interested in showing off making cocktails than service customers quicker...

3 by Luke Harmer Review source

If you're out in Angel, do not miss this perfect bar! You'd be remiss to write it off as a standard drinking hole. Experienced and knowledgeable staff will bring you delight and cocktails.

5 by Ben Kitto Review source

We went when it was 2 for 1 martini's and they even had a vegan chocolate martini. The place is clean and the staff are friendly. Careful though they espresso martini has a special kick.

5 by Michele Redgrave Review source

LOUD. Closes way too early for how loud it is. You can't hear yourself talking, it's not exactly the place to sit down and relax with a nice cocktail and some sweet sweet ambiance.

3 by Mihaela Muresan Review source

Good cocktail, come for the Happy Hour promotion for half price cocktails. It's great value- £4/£6 martinis.
With the rude door man, they will need the deals to keep me coming!

3 by William Wang Review source

Horrible place. Nasty bar staff who have issues serving drinks with anything other than a scowl. Plenty of nicer places to drink in the area than this over priced scuz hole. Avoid.

1 by raul miranda Review source

Lovely little place fab drinks.
Their cocktails are amazing.
Had such a wonderful time with my friends.
Will go back there again.

4 by Astir Astir Review source

Very poor drinks. Sickly and didn't taste of alcohol. Interior design was okay and atmosphere too, but the drinks were a huge let down.

2 by Felix Mooneeram Review source

Cheap and cheerful, the cocktails are a mixed bag and the decor is 'primarni' but for the price you're getting a good deal.

4 by Thomas Hutchins Review source

Great atmosphere, great location and amazing cocktails! friendly staff, Just love this place. will Defently come here again! Thanks guys.

5 by Ariel Levi Review source

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