Restaurant Review: San Francisco, California

Whitechapel


To call Whitechapel a shrine to gin is to undersell it. Whitechapel is gin’s St. Paul’s, its Taj Mahal. If someone took over a decommissioned Victorian-era tube stop and turned it into a private club and gin distillery, what would it look like? It would look like Whitechapel, recreated down to the vaulted ceiling, distressed white-tile walls and subway timetable. That the fantasy is realized with tiki-like totality is unsurprising, given that owner Martin Cate is best known for his astonishing tiki temple, Smuggler’s Cove. The gin-based cocktails number over 100, and can be made from selections from 350 gins, including rarities dating to the 1930s. The food is on point, with an Anglo-Dutch-Bangladeshi mash-up menu channeling food you’d find in England and Holland, gin’s two seminal countries, and the spice trade that fostered gin’s creation.