Dine Online - the UK Restaurant
Dine Online Guide to Soho -
NB: All prices are shown in
Frith Street runs North South
from Soho Square to Shaftesbury
Avenue. It is rich in restaurants
serving a wide variety of cuisine
of many cultures; jazz fans flock
to their own particular Mecca, Ronnie
Scott's. We've left out quite
a few cafés, pubs, bars,
Indians and pasta places, and have
stuck to what we perceive to be
the more serious restaurants. There's
more of a village atmosphere on
Sunday when it all gets very sleepy.
So let's take a trip down Frith
Street, starting from the Northerly
end at Soho Square walking South
on the right hand side of the road.
We'll come back from Shaftesbury
Avenue on the other, East side
of the road. Examples from menus
were recorded in March 1997.
Bruno Soho, 64 Frith Street W1.
Tel: 020 7734 4545
Bruno Loubet is one of London's top
resident French Chefs. His main restaurant
L'Odeon is a splendid room overlooking
the grand curve of Regent Street.
In this informal but stylish bar
restaurant he has been developing
a new fusion of North African and
Levantine cuisine together with French
finesse. This is a natural marriage,
since the Midi has always been a
melting pot of
Starters: Pan fried Red Mullet
with chickpea pancake and red salsa
3.50; Spicy chicken sausage with
mixed pulse lemon and coriander
5.50; Assorted mezze 6.00.
Mains: Lamb shank
with cinnamon and prune Tagine
11.00; Couscous royal with merguez,
lamb shoulder and chicken 14.00;
cassoulet of monkfish and tomato
poached pear with almond ice cream
4.50; Dried fig mascarpone with
anis ice cream
dell'Ugo, 56 Frith Street, W1.
Tel: 734 8300
One of several
restaurants run by Antony Worrall
Thompson, this is
a buzzy, popular place on three
floors with a café bar on
the ground floor, a smart bistro
above and a
more comfortable restaurant above
that. The bistro and the restaurant
share the same menu, and the same
prices. Style is modern Med with
a bit of Pacific Rim. We had a
good light lunch in the street
two courses for a fiver included
a good home made soup and a large
stuffed tomato with a rocket salad.
The two floors above were still
pretty full of lunchers by 2.30pm.
Starters: seared scallops, sweet potato crisps and avaocada salsa 6.95; Rabbit & pork
terrine 6.25; Piperade Basquaise, rocket salad 5.95
Mains: poached halibut with mussels clams and saffron 13.25; Roast suckling
pig, stuffing, greens and sage jus 10.95
Puddings: Burnt caramel chocolate and vanilla ice cream with pecan shortbread
4.95; apple and maple sable with clotted cream 4.25.
Est Grill Restaurant, 54 Frith Street, W! Tel: 437 0666
Est was another cocktail bar that served good food, but it's under new management,
some refurbishment is about to take place and the accent in future will be more
on the food. Dishes on the current menu look pretty good, so expectations are
Starters: Bressaola with rocket and shaved parmesan 3.50; Moules Marinière
Mains: Chargrilled squid with chillies, rocket salad and potato cake 9.50;
Goujons of lamb fillet in Arrabbiata sauce and fried cumin rice 9.00; Ostrich
fillet with roasted pear and blueberry jus and a timbale of wild rice 11.50
Vegetarian: Spinach gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese sauce 5.50; Oyster mushroom
risotto with shaved parmesan and truffle oil 6.50; Feuilleté of Asparagus
in Hollandaise sauce 7.50
Alastair Little, 49 Frith Street W1. Tel: 734 5183
Alastair Little is one of the begetters of the Modern British school of cooking.
Simplicity and the use of faultless ingredients are the hallmarks of his style.
The minimalist decor means that you can more easily concentrate on your sense
Starters: Fish soup with rouille, gruyere and croutons; Veal and bacon terrine
with Cumberland sauce; Oysters with Chinese dumplins; Soused Pike with potato
Mains: Chestnut mushroom and stilton pie with beetroot salad; Monkfish with
baby artichokes and gremolata; Scotch beef fillet with polenta and green sauce
Puddings: Pavalova with mango, raspberry and passion fruit cassanande; Lemon
curd ice with semolina short bread; British Isles Cheeses and oatcakes
Lunch 25 pounds for three courses; Dinner 28 pounds for three courses.
Closed Saturday Lunch & Sunday
Chiang Mai, 48 Frith Street W1. Tel: 437 7444
Vatcherin Bhumichitr has published a book of recipes, so you can look at the
recipes of what you are eating before perpetrating your attempts at Thai cooking
on unsuspecting family and friends. The place looked quiet but pleasant and I
am told that the vegetarian dishes are particularly good. Starters around a fiver;
Mains six to nine pounds; side dishes from
1.50 upwards. Closed Sunday
Ronnie Scott's, 47 Frith Street W1. Tel: 439 0747
No tour of Frith Street would be complete without mentioning this famous London
Jazz Club. All the greats have played here: Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy G, Bob Berg,
Charlie Watts et al. Grub is optional - you can snack or sit down to a fairly
reasonably priced a la carte dinner.
You don't have to be a member to get in and the Club is open from 8.30pm until
3.00am. Major bands usually play two sets, one around 10.30 and the other around
1.00 am finishing at 2am, leaving time to wind down before closing at 3am.
It's also a good spot for some Salsa dancing. No wonder Frith Street is more
or less shut on Sundays!
There is nothing of note for foodies from Ronnie Scotts down to Shaftesbury
Avenue - though I may well be doing Caffe Nera and the Delhi Brasserie a huge
disservice - sorry!. So, it's time to cross over to the East side of the street.
L'Osteria, 28 Frith Street on the corner of Romilly Street, 437 2829
This is rather a posh looking Italian, but it doesn't seem to feature in the
guides. Starters run from 4.95 to 11.50 for the grand antipasto, heavy on the
sea food. Mains go from 8.50 for calves liver to 13.50 for baked sea bass. Meat
dishes around the twelve pound mark.
Latino, 25 Frith Street W1 Tel: 287 5676
There's a little bar at street level that gets packed on account of its really
good cocktails. Upstairs there's a simple restaurant, and the South American
tapas are good. The chef has changed since we visited in the summer, and there's
a substantially new menu drawing on the same broad themes.
Starters: white bean and aubergine caviar 2.75; chicken in pumpkin and almond
salsa 2.75; chorizo seared with cashew nuts 3.50; garlic tiger prawns 5.50
- all served with fresh bread
Mains: refried bean bocadillo 4.75; mussels criolla with fries 6.25; Argentinian
beef carbonade cooked with peaches and wine with almond rice 6.25; fritos variados:
fish, sardines prawns squid etc 6.95
Open 7 days
Little Italy, 21 Frith Street W1 Tel: 734 4737
There's a street level café-bar at the front with two
smart split level dining rooms at the rear. The atmosphere is cooly metropolitan
with menus to
match. Dishes of the day look particularly good: Chicken soup with fine ribbon
pasta and cep funghi 5.60; steamed red mullet with spring onion infused oil,
and tomatoes stuffed with mixed vegetables 10.80; Fine pasta ribbons with mixed
seafood and monkfish 9.40; Medallions of leg of lamb, chargrilled, with a puree
of chickpeas and canelloni beans 11.20; terrine of veal and spinach topped
with mozzarella gratin with tomato and basil sauce.
The coffee is very good!
Open to 4.00am, Sunday 'til midnight.
Bahn Thai, 21a Frith Street Tel: 437 8504
Claims to be one of London's first Thai restaurants, opening in 1982. The word
is that it's not what it was, but perhaps it's the competition that has improved.
Set dinners 18.50 to 27.50, average a la carte 30.00.
Garlic and Shots, 14 Frith Street Tel: 734 9505
What the Romans would have called a vomitarium. The warning on the door
of this bar doesn't exactly say Abandon Hope all ye who enter, but strictly
for garlic lovers. Foodies might well interpret this to mean strictly for
foodies, but the dishes seemed a bit perverse to me. There's even garlic beer
to wash down your garlic and anchovies, and you can have garlic coffee with your
garlic cheesecake. Open 7 days.
Cafe Rouge, 15 Frith Street W1 Tel: 437 4307
Serious foodies tend to scoff at this faux-French chain of bistro brasseries,
but we have found some
branches to be pretty good -see our report on the Esher branch.
Open 7 days to 11pm.
Soho Soho, 11-13 Frith Street Tel: 494 3491
Large, buzzy brasserie on a corner site near the Soho Square end of the road.
Tables are bare pine with Van Gogh type chairs, and the rotisserie style is making
a big come back. There's a restaurant upstairs that's a bit bit dull by comparison
with the fun going on at street level.