Eating out in Soho

Soho Restaurant Reviews

It’s 2013 and I think 2012 was the year of the review for me.  I’ve visited so many restaurants in Soho and elsewhere in London and had so much fun that this review now looks very dated.  So I’m doing a quick edit!   Bocca di Lupo stays top of the list, but I’ve also enjoyed some fabulous ramen at Bone Daddies and wonderful food from Blanch and Shock at the Endurance pub, though I can’t list it as a recommended place to go because the residency changes every month or so.

I still don’t think I’ve tried many of the best places to eat in Soho.  That’s partly because I spend a lot of time around South Kensington, Earls Court and West Brompton where I live and partly because there are a lot of convenient but not particularly noteworthy places to eat in Soho and for a long time it’s been somewhere to grab a quick bite before going to the theatre or cinema.  Now though there are  some real gems.  I have quite a long Soho wishlist including the newly refurbished Quo Vadis, Bob Bob Ricard, Bibimbap, Arbutus and Vereeswamy.  I’ve eaten at Koya, but not when I was in ‘reviewing’ mode and think it’s great but I can’t link you to my own review because I haven’t done one.  I’ve also really enjoyed Aubin and Randall, but again I haven’t been there to review!

Soho is home to Chinatown and some very touristy Chinese restaurants which I believe don’t show London or Chinese cuisine at it’s best.  As a generalisation, those specialising in a particular region (Hunan, Szechuan for instance) are rather better.  There are good examples of many types of Asian cuisine in the area including @Siam which I reviewed last year and enjoyed. I don’t think it’s an outstanding example of Thai food, though rather better than average but I don’t know the places that are ‘authentic’ and really well regarded.  I’m going back to Carom next week and I’ve tried Satsuma.  Neither quite have a wow factor for me, though they are a lot better than average.

And there are a whole host of quite mediocre places to eat like Kettners which can still end up being rather expensive.   That’s one of the challenges.  I’d advise any visitor to Soho to do their research and check what suits their particular taste and wallet.

I’m not putting Ceviche on the ‘outstanding’ list simply because I need to go back when I WANT to eat, not when I’ve just had 3 courses somewhere else.  And  much as I love Gelato Gelupo, I don’t think it warrants listing as a destination restaurant unless you really do want to dine on gelato.  Princi was fun for coffee and a cake, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it for more than a very quick bite to eat.

Bocca di Lupo has to be my first choice with outstanding food and a really pleasant atmosphere without a price tag to match.

 Bone Daddies goes into second place – just a little unfair because I haven’t tried any of the other ramen joints in Soho.

And, still in third place for me Spuntino.  No, it’s not gastro cuisine, more good New York/Italian cafe food with a twist.  And, the street cred thing which had really put me off trying may be true when there are queues, but outside of peak times it’s a relaxed chilled place to eat, drink and socialise.  I think the same is true for most of the Russell Norman bars and cafes.  Just shows you need to try before you write somewhere off and not just rely on the critics!


The Bar at Spuntino, Soho