It’s fair to say I spend a lot of my time in and around the the buzz of London’s Soho. Soho has everything to make my life complete: amazing restaurants, great coffee, mind blowing cocktails bars, intriguing boutiques and just a touch of the crazies to keep you on your toes.
In the first of my three part series, giving you the inside tips on where to eat, drink and shop in Soho, I focus on Soho restaurants. AKA, where to find your foodie happy place, Soho style.
the special occasion chef’s table
Simon Rogan’s 8-seater chef’s table, Aulis, located in an out-of-the-way back street of Soho is experience dining at its best. The chefs are passionate about the ingredients, preparation and cooking. This is evident in the all-levels-of-amazing flavours and textures in the dishes. And as for the wine pairings… divine.
The setting is intimate and spare, with the focus all on the food. Save this one for a special occasion with your special-occasion crew.
Social Eating House in Soho is one of my favourites. It’s bistro-style menu is always delish, with something for everyone – veggies, pescatarians, and carnivores alike.
The interior is sleek but relaxed at the same time, making it the perfect place to take a date – as long as they’re pretty amazing.
Social Eating House, 58 Poland Street, Soho W1F 7NR
The Palomar is a relative new-comer to the Soho restaurant scene, serving up delicious sharing plates from Jerusalem. The food has a variety of influences from the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Spain. The beef and lamb shakshukit was a favourite. And I still think of the scallop roe taramasalata – the best I’ve had, with a bit of a spicy kick to it.
The atmosphere is light and cheerful, and the waiting staff very helpful. It’s the perfect spot to head to with a few friends post-theatre.
The Palomar, 34 Rupert Street, Soho W1D 6DN
London has no shortage of tapas joints, but for me the slightly elevated tapas experience at Dehesa distinguishes it from the rest. On a sunny day, pick a spot on the terrace, otherwise the best spot is in the window, where the people-watching is of an excellent quality.
My pick is always the courgette flower, but you can always set yourself up with a charcuterie plate and enjoy the jamons of the world with a glass of Spanish wine.
Dehesa, 25 Ganton Street, Soho W1F 9BP
Italian, just like-a mama used-a to make
Polpo has to be my go-to restaurant for quick, tasty and casual Italian with friends. Inspired by the tiny wine bars of Venice, Polpo’s kitchen produces mouthwatering sharing dishes. And while I did mention the sharing dishes, there is one dish I am not prepared to share when I’m at Polpo – the crab and chilli linguine. It’s pasta heaven on a (sharing) plate.
Polpo, 41 Beak Street, Soho W1F 9SB
I sure do. I only recently discovered Claw and was very happy to have stumbled across it. A lot of the dishes are seafood related, as the title suggests, but the menu is varied enough to appeal to land-lovers. They had me at crab claws, crab fries and crab mac and cheese, however.
Claw, 21 Kingly Street, Soho W1B 5QA
Bob Bob Ricard is something behold. It’s decadent art-deco interior is visually stunning. The seating is made up mostly of private booths which lend themselves equally to a romantic date or a high-powered business dinner. The menu is perfect as is the cocktail list. Just resist the urge to push the “Press for Champagne” button at the table.
Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James Street, Soho W1F 9DF