Lunch at Muriel’s Kitchen:
In the heart of Soho, Muriel’s Kitchen is the kind of place you need to know about. The interior is comfortable and relaxed with various seating options including a quirky table set with basket chairs. I tried … I failed. I’d guess they are designed for someone a little taller, younger and fitter than me. Or perhaps if you just there for drinks?
We moved to a normal table.
There are plenty of options for food – mostly with a healthy slant. I’m less convinced though that it is as quoted:
‘Home-cooked authentic food that families have loved for generations. The dishes at Muriel’s are inspired by the hearty cooking of our mothers and grandmothers’
I’d gone along expecting bowls of chicken soup, beef casserole with dumplings and fish pie. The sort of things my mum would have served up. Some of that is there with fishcakes, cheese and bacon quiche and summer pudding but there are plenty of non-grandmotherly ingredients around (coconut and chia seed bowl for breakfast, organic quinoa burger in the ‘classics’ and a whole range of contemporary salads and smoothies. Of course, I AM old enough to be a grandmother and perhaps that’s the issue. My grandma didn’t try avocado till she was in her 70s and I doubt she ever tasted edamame beans or quinoa. Nothing at all wrong with what was on offer, it just didn’t line up with my expectation.
It’s not really the kind of place to eat starters. But if you do fancy something to take the edge off your appetite, a scotch egg would work just fine
Once the food arrived it was clear that the portion size is substantial – no real need for anything else.
My companion enjoyed the Quinoa Burger. He felt the pattie itself was rather underseasoned, but that was rectified by a wealth of toppings including avocado, red onion and tomato and a generous helping of MK burger sauce. The chips went down very well too.
On my side of the table I was into healthy salads. I’d ordered the chargrilled chicken breast which is generally served with one super seasonal salad.
There was little evidence that the chicken breast had been chargrilled, but it was very tasty and nicely seasoned. Broccoli and new potato salad was a good accompaniment for the dish if you were looking to be healthy.
You can, if you choose, order a seasonal salad plate, which provides a selection of four salads of your choice for £9.99. Very healthy indeed! They were all beautifully fresh and tasty, though I’d have avoided the californian olives which I think lack any real flavour. I particularly liked the edamame beans and beet salad with goats cheese and I’d certainly pick that if I was looking to select just one salad.
Meanwhile my companion had gone all-out on a health kick and ordered one of the fresh juices – the so named vitamin hug which comprised orange, apple, carrot, celery and ginger. It looked far too healthy for me and I stuck firmly with my fentiman’s ginger beer.
The dessert list is perhaps the most ‘retro’ part of the menu with a range of dishes including carrot cake, summer pudding and strawberry mess sundae. I picked the chocolate and orange lava cake which was served with an almost gooey vanilla ice cream Very delicious, it had spent just a few minutes too long in the oven to get that ‘lava’ goo that makes for the perfect shot
Nana’s creme brulee was something of a curious mix between an old fashioned set egg custard and a classic creme brulee. My companion was suprised that it was warm, though the topping was perfectly crunchy
Finally a decent cup of coffee with a little, rather pretty coffee art rounded off the meal.
Muriel’s Kitchen is a great place to visit for a healthy lunch. I’m probably too old to see the food as being retro – but then again, I’m probably not the target market. The pricing is keen and in addition to an excellent breakfast menu and the well priced healthy lunch option, they also serve an afternoon tea for £15.75 a person which would be a lovely indulgent treat without too hefty a price tag.
I visited the Soho branch but there are two more Muriel’s Kitchens in Richmond and South Kensington.
36 – 38 Old Compton Street