I spent last week in London, with Sophie, looking for a ‘flat’ since she’ll be going to ‘uni’ there next year. While house hunting, we rented our own little flat, through Airbnb, which was in a great location. We were in the heart of Soho, on Greek Street. While it got a bit noisy on Saturday night (we were above a pub) I loved being in this neighborhood.
While I did some half-hearted restaurant research before we left, I wasn’t very thorough. Sophie and I were pretty tired at the end of each day, and so just stayed in the neighborhood. That said, we ate excellently. Soho, it turns out, has some pretty great restaurants these days.
So, since I am a list kind of girl, here is my most recent London Restaurant List.
The Golden Oven
One evening it was just pouring. Not that London drizzle, but a downpour. We were starved, and Sophie was craving Indian, so I went online and found out that The Golden Oven, located half a block from our flat, got rave reviews from customers. Even though it was literally steps from our door, we arrived dripping. But after the owner kindly dried us off, he suggested that we just trust him, and he would bring us good food. I rarely do this, but was so happy I did. We had the most amazing Vegetable Korma I’ve ever had. Full of freshly grated coconut and just a bit of honey, it wasn’t even on the menu. Not expensive and the owner made us feel so welcome we are sure to go back there again.
22 Bateman Street
My friend Meg suggested Hix, which I had never heard about, but gather is quite well known. Fantastic, art-filled space (Damien Hirst etc.). The menu is traditional English, revisited, and delicious. I had a duck salad full of both tender pieces of meat and crispy bits of skin, followed by the best fish fingers I’ve ever had, served on a bed of minty mushy peas.
Mike, Meg’s husband, had the famous Hix dish Heaven and Earth: A ball of blood sausage on a bed of mash. Make sure you try one of the Jelly Shots for dessert. Yummy!
Take a look a the club downstairs, which is quite cozy and perfect for a drink.
66 Brewer Street
A few people had mentioned Arbutus, but told me I’d never get a reservation on such short notice. While walking around one day, we just stopped in and reserved for the next night. Truly excellent, simply prepared food in a relaxed, cozy setting at reasonable prices. Also, I loved the fact that they had several bottles of wine under 20 pounds, not easy to find in London. Both Sophie and I had the Beet Salad with goat cheese, which we loved. Next I had the Cod, which was served with four of the best cockles I’ve ever had in my life: barely heated, little bits of the sea.
64 Frith Street
We passed by here one day, on our way home, so decided to try it that night. I was so glad we did! They have four locations in London, and the Wardour Street had just opened, and so was 10% off their already extremely reasonable prices. To start off we had the Vegetarian Spring Rolls (they were out of the Pork, which I think is an excellent sign!) and the Mango Salad, which was crunchy, salty, spicy and sour. Everything you want in a Vietnamese salad. The place obviously specializes in Pho, and it was extraordinary. I had mine with Meatballs, Sophie ordered Brisket. I also had a beer and the bill came to 22 pounds! They don’t take reservations, but it’s worth the short wait.
163 Wardour Street
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
OK, this is not a real restaurant. In fact, it’s part of a chain with about 20 locations throughout London. But if you’re craving a burger? You’d have a hard time finding a better one, even in the States. The beef is 100% Aberdeen Angus and the buns are home made and excellent.
15 Frith Street
Since Sophie will be in London for the next three years, I plan on visiting often. So I'll update this list, but please feel free to add your own favorites. I'll look forward to trying them!