Tag Archives: restaurants in Soho

Rosa’s, 48 Dean Street, W1D 5BF

I’ve been to Rosa’s in Spitalfields before and loved it, and the newer one in Soho is also great. Its slightly more expensive than “cheap and cheerful” (you’re talking £30 each rather than £15 each) but the food, although not mind-blowing, is a cut above many Thai places like Thai Metro or Siam Central (which I also like); and the venue is lovely – with cute little wooden boots and red lanterns.

We started with an ice cold Singha beer (sooo good, made me want to be back in Koh Chang on the beach, sigh…) with prawn crackers, and then ordered the fresh vegetable rolls which were really tasty, with a delicious peanut sauce, and the deep fried crispy squid which were salty, succulent and more-ish. 

We then had the char-grilled jumbo prawns served with spicy fresh chilli sauce and cooled steamed vegetables – these were a bit special with giant juicy prawns – nom nom nom (see photo below).  And the marinated pork served with spicy dry chilli sauce and cooled steamed vegetables which was tasty but a little dry. All washed down with an unoaked chardy – perfect.

Total cost for 2 courses and 1/2 bottle of wine (plus sneeky Singha) was £65 or £32.50 each – very friendly staff and  a lovely night out too. I’m filing it under date night, cheap dinner and after-work dinner places…

PS Sorry this review is a little lacklustre – I’m a bit distracted watching my new guilty pleasure in the background (Cougar Town, ahem).

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Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James St, W1F 9DE

In the last few weeks I have realised that I am definitely not a food writer.  I don’t know about flavours or cooking well enough to write knowledgeably about it, I often don’t know what authentic dishes should taste like, and I’m not particularly judgemental.  But I love food and eating out, so I’m just going to write about what a girl-next-door thinks and whether it made me happy and leave it like that. Just don’t want to pretend I’m anything I’m not…!

Great lights, brass and that famous “Press for Champagne” button

Sooooo to BBR – El G and I headed to Soho on Saturday night for a long overdue lets get dressed up dinner out. Out of my wishlist, El G liked the look of Bob Bob Ricard as being funky and different.  Inside its gorgeous – you sit in comfy private booths surrounded by brass rails and little curtains  – very Orient Express with great lighting and modern touches too. For a Saturday it was super quiet but that may have been due to the footie.

I’d love to come back and try some vodka and Zakuski (things like salmon roe on quail’s egg and Russian herring) which reminds me of an amazing Latvian meal I had round at my friend G’s flat in Paris where we drank enough home-made vodka to make our hair curl, but woke up hangover-less and happy – these Eastern types know a thing or two about having a good time.  But instead we plumped for starters and mains.  First things first, you must start with cocktails – an amazing Rhubarb G&T and EL G had a refreshing BBR Botanical.

For starters, El G had cured orkney beef and celeriac salad with blueberries and hazelnuts and I had the potted shrimp with baby watercress  – like everything we ate that night I loved the interesting flavour combinations which were perfectly balanced – both were really tasty. 

Veal holstein with anchovies, quail’s egg, truffle mash and cute little courgette balls – bloody good

Home-made chicken kiev with sweetcorn mash

I heard the chateaubriand was amazing but at £32 it was a bit out of our price range, so I ordered the veal holstein with anchovies, a quail’s egg, truffle mash and secret sauce which was beautiful – amazingly well cooked, really light and incredible textures and flavours.  El G had the chicken kiev (well surely it would be authentic here?) with sweetcorn mash which again was perfectly cooked and tasty.  We washed this all down with a lovely bottle of chablis (£35). We were impressed at the lack of giant mark ups in the wine – not that we could afford the more expensive bottles, but the wine list shows how much other restos charged for the same bottle (often double).

We finished off by sharing a plate of cheese with the most creamy brie I’ve ever had and a glass or merlot and port, followed by home-made chocolate truffles and coffee. We felt incredibly spoiled and left really happy after 3 hours of totally unrushed but great service which for me is the sign of a great meal.  The bill came to £170 or £85 each so it ain’t cheap but it was a wonderfully different, luxurious treat and I’m definitely coming back!

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Roka, 37 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RR

Lovely cocktails

First of all a confession.  I may have been too engrossed in gossip with long-lost friends that I didn’t pay full attention to the food, oops. 

Vegetable tempura

However, I could tell Roka was very good – attentive service, interesting menu and delicate cooking.  We started with fantastic cocktails – a green tea martini and cherry blossom bellini for around £9 each.  Then we tucked into the tapas-style sharing menu (isn’t everywhere tapas-style nowadays?!), ordering a mix of sashimi, seafood and fish, dumplings and tempura. 

Soft-shell crab and seafood sashimi

Vegetable tempura was light and crisp with an unusual dipping sauce, soft shell crab was good but not mind-blowing; the sashimi was really tasty and delicate; salmon teriyaki was tender but a little undercooked; and the pork dumplings absolutely delicious and my favourite of the mains.  I’d defnitely like to come back and try some more things on the menu though, especially the beef dishes.

Deliiiicious pork dumplings

Slightly disappointing salmon teriyaki

After Lady B turned up, they couldn’t squish three of us on one table (its a posh place innit) so we all trooped outside on a lovely balmy evening to drink a bottle of grenache (at £24, its the cheapest of a very expensivo wine list) in the pavement seats while Lady B guzzled some veggie dishes (broccoli and fried egg plant) which she said were delicious.  We finished with a most incredible almond cake with caramel ice cream (faaabulous) and a so-so green tea creme brulee.

Amaaaazing melt in the mouth almond cake

Green tea creme brulee

As I said previously, I’d like to go back another time and pay a bit more attention to the food – I also feel I don’t know enough about Japanese food to order well so I’d probably take my friend Esmerelda who lived in Tokyo.  But, even engrossed in chat, I was impressed at the service and dishes.  A cocktail, 1/3rd bottle of wine, 3 sharing plates each and sharing a pud was £45 each.  Not cheap, but perfect for a special occasion or a date, or you could just sit outside with friends to sip cocktails and nibble a few small plates in the sun.

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