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Located in a Soho townhouse accessed by pushing a buzzer by the front, upon entry you are ushered into a downstairs dining room by one of the genial front-of-house staff. Chef Alexis Gauthier made a name for himself at Michelin-starred Roussillon in Pimlico, and here strikes out on his own. Ostensibly created to evoke the romance, ceremony and geniality of old-world fine-dining, the ambitious Michelin-starred kitchen’s menus are anything but old and stuffy.
The main dining room is whitewashed and plain, with formal white tablecloths and cloth napkins, lending support to the criticism that the atmosphere can often feel clinical and a little stiff. However, it’s hard to fault the boundless enthusiasm and passion Gauthier and his team possess, and the food is, as expected, wonderful. The black truffle risotto is justifiably famous, entrenched in an intensely concentrated chicken jus that makes every mouthful an addictive experience. Luxury ingredients like the ever-tender wagyu (kobe) beef and foie gras make glorious appearances, but the real skill of the kitchen lies in transforming modest cuts like shoulder of lamb into masterclasses of flavour and texture. Notably, Gauthier is easily one of the most vegecentric chefs in the city, if not the country – like many of the best chefs now, he has turned his attention into transforming previously overlooked and uninteresting ingredients like the humble carrot or beetroot into artful and delicious plates of food. The vegetarian tasting menu is one of the best vegetarian meals in the city, and a rarely opulent treat for the much-neglected veggies among London’s diners.
For desserts, Gauthier’s signature dish is an homage to his mentor Alain Ducasse – you’d be hard pressed to pass up on the Golden Louis XV chocolate and praline soufflé, though other desserts are similarly accomplished. Prices are high though not unreasonable in comparison to similar establishments, and service is notably friendlier, with water (still and sparkling) both immediately offered free of charge.
Opening times: lunch: Monday - Saturday: 12:00 - 14:30, dinner: Monday - Saturday 17:30 - 22:30
21 Romilly Street, Soho, W1D 5AFView Larger Map
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