RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘Soho’

  1. Yauatcha Tea

    February 18, 2012 by Dini

    Dim Sum Tea-time

    15th February 2012

    Walking through Soho, hunger panged at tea-time, having had an ‘experience‘ earlier in the day, I wanted to resuscitate my birthday’s dining experiences. What better way than going to Yauatcha for some calming afternoon tea and at least there, I had a Michelin star reassurance and a wooing promise of cake…

    Arriving at 15.30, I was surprised that five tables were occupied, with late lunches and those like myself wanting tea. I didn’t have the time or the inclination for full-on afternoon tea as already had a dinner reservation elsewhere, so opted for tea, dim sum and cake. Service was spot on, slick, attentive and friendly – just what I wanted.

    Condiments arrived at the table (these were complimentary: chilli, seafood, soy sauces and a delicious sweet pickled cucumber).

    I recall a few years ago when I dined at Ping Pong these were chargeable, much to my horror, if this has changed now (I stand corrected). My dim sum arrived promptly, before my tea in fact. These were from the A la Carte menu’s steamed section, the Har gau (£5 for 3) were plump with a juicy prawn filling.

     The billowy Char sui buns (£3.80) had a delicious, sticky pork filling.

    The tea menu showcased a plethora of options: Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian and Sri Lankan teas. I opted for cleansing tea (Silver Needle from Fujian, China, at £7.40 per pot).

    I knew this would be gentle in flavour and calming, as I’d sampled similar at Teanamu’s tea-house.

    To finish my tea experience, I opted for a Coconut Charlotte. To be frank, I could have opted for any of the desserts as the descriptions all sounded tempting. Whilst waiting, I took a quick look at the Pattiserie counter (for dining display and takeaway), which was an absolute delight, so many beautiful colours and delicate combinations.

    I was told that these were made off-site in London, at a hub for the Hakkasan group and delivered daily (morning and afternoon for service).

    When I recieved my Chalotte, it still had the card placemat, as from the counter. I would have preffered this to have been removed, so diving into it on the plate was easier and nicer on the eye.

     The Charlotte was like a white-chocolate génoise, with a coconut cream exterior and a mango filling that oozed out, when sliced. It was so light and decadent to eat, if I didn’t have a  dinner reservation, I’d have easily have ordered more.

    All in all, my day was resurrected, with good service, well executed dishes and calm. I think my experience could have only have been improved, by changing the music selection. Yauatcha had the music on very loud and it was very bass-heavy. Hey-ho, one can’t have everything, if the quality of food supercedes the music (as it did) I’m fine with that. I’m definately returning for more…

    Yauatcha: 15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 0DL
    Tel: 020 7494 8888

    Yauatcha on Urbanspoon

  2. Soho Food Feast

    June 26, 2011 by Dini

    Summer Food Feast for a worthy cause…

    25th June 2011

    Nestling in the heart of Soho, lies the Soho Parish School and it’s this cause that took me to St Anne’s Garden, as well as fabulous food (of course). With the aid of some School Supporters and a few famous Chefs the Soho Food Feast was born, to raise funds.  Hats of to them, if you have famous friends and neighbours, why not? The proposition to me, getting a warm glow from giving to charity (a mere £6.50 entry on pre-booking , going upto £10 on the day and thereafter £2 per portion). This seemed an absolute bargain considering the calibre of Soho-ite restauranteurs participating, there in attendance and happy to chat away, certainly in comparison to the farce that Taste Festival has become.

    My highlights included:

    Boca Di Lupo with their Sausage feast with sister co. Gelupo and their adorable gelato cart. There were initially 8 gelato’s and sorbet’s on offer but as expected on a hopt summer’s day sold out one by one like hot-cakes. Their crowd pleasing favourites were on offer: Bonet gelato (a delicate blend of choc, amaretti, caramel & expresso) and I opted for Coconut & Rasberry sorbets.

    Polpo had some liver pate with crustini and a seafood and olive salad that was beguilingly beautiful. I met a fellow tweep at the Food Feast (Adam – featurded) he claimed that he had been pulled in to help out on their stall, from where I was standing he seemed to be enjoying the Pimms more so… he of course profusely denies this and claims it’s someone elses!

    Koya was a new find for me, ever since a rave review in the Metro’s friend’s say this once hidden gem has become impossible to get a table at. A shame as the Buta Pork Miso I slurped away at, was a salty and moreish pot, that made me giddy yearning for more. Alas, I was whisked onto Hix to have some salmon on sourdough (Hix, a non attendee apparently at Glastonbury as was Yianni of the Meatwagon).

    Valentine Warner gave us a welcome interval from eating, creating a simple yet wholesome seafood stew, which was whisked around the crowd so quickly I didn’t get a look-in. Close by Trevor Gullivan (of St John’s Bread & Wine) was on hand running a wine stand, with cases of different varieties, sharing his wondorous knowledge. offal was on offering on their food stand, I joked that had they had their famous custard filled doughnuts there may have been a stampede… so good are these doughnuts, I’m told they’re sold out by 9am on a Saturday.

    I indulged in trying a few more ‘sweets’ namely a take-away of The Union’s cherry cupcakes and Gaucho’s Eton Mess (after being harangued at by the Sous Chef – I always succumb to food pressure). One lovely spot was a purchase of some thick-cut orange marmalade made by Jeremy Lee (of BluePrint Cafe). He was very sweet and posed for a pic with his pot for sale. I asked him how bookings were going in the restaurant’s  21st year after the rave review they recieved in the Metro. He responded humblyy that he was pleased that the restaurant had been reviewed as a piece after 21 years and that indeed bookings had resurged.

    This event was a jolly one, with a great family spirit and tasty food offerings for a fan of Soho-ite haunts.

    To find out more about Soho Parish Primary School, click here, tickets for the 2012 event have sold out ands none on the door I’m afraid, but details are here.

    2012 update:  J.Lee is now at Quo Vadis, should have guessed then, that his cooking at a ‘Soho’ event, was due to a move!

  3. Spuntino vs da Polpo

    June 11, 2011 by Dini

    Oozing Truffled Egg Toast

    Comfort eating or destination eating?


    Apparently, there’s a Russell Norman/Richard Beatty restaurant out there for you… whether it be Polpo/Chichetti, Polpetti, Spuntino newly opened Da Polpo. Each offer a slightly different proposition and my flavour of the moment is Spuntino. Nestling in Rupert Street, the halo effect of becoming a twitter food haven in Soho, has brought two new openings of Bubbleology (Taiwanese flavoured tapioca Tea) and Madd (mango dessert/drinks).

    Both have a distressed finish to them, aged with love and beautiful details such as: bag hooks under the bar tables, the old fashioned gum machine and most of all the menus printed on brown paper. Spuntino, for me has an intimate feel to it a cross between a Italian-New York Diner, even having NY style black filter coffee for the offing, but I wish they’d get a machine in! Ink (in the tattoo form) are part of the staff attire, one could liken the staff to the Gogol Bordello punk-rock group. In fact a few months ago, there was some friendly rivalry between them and Hawksmoor, asking twitter followers to vote for their favourite ‘ink’ work… go figure!

    Spuntino back-bar

    Food wise it’s comfort eating at its best, wholesome, heart-warming food, with service with or without a smile depending on who is serving.  I can’t really complain on the 6 occasions I’ve been to Spuntino I’ve not had to wait longer than 10 minutes for a seat (no reservations, walk-in only) and the service at both has been knowledgeable and on the whole courteous.  Da Polpo is a livelier and larger venue (with booking available in the day only) specialising it seems in meatballs galore.

    At Spuntino, my favs include: Truffled egg toast (decadent with oozing truffle infused Fontina cheese), Sliders – Ground beef & marrow Slider (moist and juicy), Spiced mackerel (with piquancy of horseradish), Eggplant chips with fennel yoghurt (fresh tanginess that cuts through the batter) and finally dessert of Brown sugar cheesecake with grappa prunes (a boozily sumptuous treat).

    Da Polpo favs include: spicy pork & fennel meatballs (the tastiest that I had) and the Tiramisu pot (like diving into cup of heaven).The Bellini Sgroppino also caught my eye, but alas it awaits it’s turn for another visit…

    Be aware of: There are only 26 seats at Spuntino so go there early for lunch/dinner or off peak

    Take time to: Have an aperitif, the Clover Clubs & Negroni’s are much recommended or for Da Polpo pop over the road to Rules, for a cocktail

    da Polpo
    6 Maiden Lane
    London, WC2E 7NA 
    020 7836 8448
    61 Rupert Street
    London, W1D 7PW
    No telephone

    da Polpo on Urbanspoon

    Spuntino on Urbanspoon


  4. Bob Bob Ricard’s Russian Lunch

    January 3, 2011 by Dini

    BBR Rhubarb G&T's

    My Glamorous Russian Prixe Fixe

    Dec 2010

    On a rainy December lunch-time, I decided glitz and glamour was in order, so I joined some fellow twitter food-lovers at the Soho restaurant, Bob Bob Ricard. On entering, I was not disappointed the decor was like entering a grandiose palace, with stunning fixtures and fittings. As a fan of the colours, gold and turquoise, I was in my element, David Collins (Interiors Designer) certainly won me over.

    First off we started with a round of cocktails, well we were getting into the Christmas spirit. I have to confess at this point, Management had been alerted to our booking, due to my ’blogger’ dining guests, Richard (Co-Owner) graciously sent us some complimentary items, to get our dining off to a bang! Then complimentary cocktails of the house Rhubarb Gin & Tonic arrived. This was a delectable drink and probably my favourite of
    the cocktails, because the gin allowed the fresh rhubarb to shine, in the simple drink composition.

    Next off we received a complimentary Russian Salad, topped with shavings of Black Truffle, accompanied by a 25cl glass of Kauffman luxury vintage vodka 2008. The vodka came in a dainty cut crystal glass, that had frosted over due to the cold serve at -18 degrees. Paying attention to chill the vodka made such a difference in tasting the quality of it and it’s combination with the creamy salad and melt in the mouth truffle.

    Russian Salad with shaved Black Truffle & Kauffman's Vodka

    Russian Salad with shaved Black Truffle & Kauffman's Vodka

    For my paid element, I opted for a two-course Prixe Fixe menu, seeing we’d already had a starter course. As a ‘Burger-holic’ I selected the BBR Scotch Beef Burger (traditionally a cheese-burger, but I’m not a fan of cheese on my burgers so opted out. However, I’ll report that one can have an option of either Danegeld Cheddar or Kraft Cheese). Alongside this, I had fries and coleslaw… however we shared each other’s side dishes to get a taste.

    BBR Scotch Burger

    BBR Scotch Burger

    For my own personal preference, my burger was a little too charred for my liking, but the taste was superb, juicy and great quality meat. I especially liked the fries served in cute BBR boxes. The majority of service-ware and trims had the BBR insignia, a nice touch.

    BBR Scotch Burger & Sides

    BBR Burger & Sides

    For dessert, I had 3 scoops of ice-cream (Peanut butter/banana, Valrhona chocolate & Salted caramel). My favourite of the flavours was the chocolate, rich and dreamy. The other two, were full of promise in flavour descriptor, but for me failed to deliver. A little ironic that the items, I recieved that were complimentary, were superb, but those I selected and paid for myself, lack-lustre – perhaps my poor choices.

    I especially like the touches such as the ‘Champagne Button’ in each of the booths, it’s such a whimsical notion, to summon a waiter on request, just for Champagne – but why not? My favourite spot of all, was actually detailing in the wine menu… they cheekily do a wine price comparison in pricing, against Michelin starred restaurants…

    A cheeky wine comparison:

    Chateux Margaux 1st Cru Classe, 1985 – £575

    This wine is £1500 at Corrigan’s Mayfair

    Bob Bob Ricard delivers with bags of confidence. If you want a feast for the eyes, this is definitely a place to come, for the decor, people-watching and beautiful dishes. I didn’t get my burger or ice-cream to my taste, but I’ll let this go, as the service and vibe was spot-on.

    Bobby’s Bar alas was closed when we waddled off, however I have been back and definitely recommend the Rhubarb G&T (now a staple in my London drinking tipple’s). With a ‘clear’ Bloody Mary named after the supermodel Natalie Vodianova, you know this is going to be a high glamour and glossy venue.

    My photo’s don’t do justice to the opulence and beauty of this establishment, so I’m going to guide you to the excellent @paulwf’s shots.

    Bob Bob Ricard
    1 Upper James Street, London, W1F 9DF
    0203 145 1000

    Bob Bob Ricard on Urbanspoon