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Square Meal Review of Arbutus ?

Anthony Demetre’s era-defining Arbutus doesn’t look like a trailblazer with its white walls, wooden floors and faintly Scandi style, but when it launched in the halcyon days of 2006, its affordable approach was positively radical. The fact that this cosmopolitan eatery still cuts it in oh-so-fickle Soho speaks volumes for its enduring appeal. Much depends on the kitchen, which maintains Michelin-starred standards while aiming for that magic “bang for buck”: signatures such as the celebrated squid and mackerel burger or ‘pieds et paquets’ reveal humble ingredients elevated by pure technique, while ricotta gnudi with broad beans and asparagus or slow-cooked pork with salsify, honey and polenta are bright, beautiful plates of food. To finish, try the tarte Tatin – a “voluminous but enjoyable beast”. Service does the business, although it’s sometimes hard to attract attention for basic needs. Still, speedy ‘working lunch’ menus, rammed pre-theatre suppers and an organically inclined wine list with everything by the glass or carafe make this a “top favourite” with readers.
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  1. Published : Sunday, 10 February 2013

    sexdrugsandbaconrolls :: arbutus

    We had arbutus in Soho on our Restaurants to do list for a while now. We were looking for a restaurant to take clients, which was in central London and arbutus seemed like a nice option for a casual business lunch. This restaurant is fairly small but is bright and airy. The restaurant has a distinct French feel in terms of service but the food is English/Italian in style. We were welcomed into the bustling restaurant and taken into the back room that overlooks Dean Street and seated on the benches with our back to the wall. There was four of us for lunch and although I really liked this restaurant it probably wasn’t...
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  1. Published : Friday, 20 December 2013

    Nomface :: Arbutus, London

    Arbutus is a one michelin starred modern French restaurant based on Frith Street in buzzing Soho, London. It appealed to me since I found out that the restaurant offered counter seats which is always preferably for me when dining alone. I guess I still feel a little awkward when sat at a table alone, with the feeling of not knowing where to look and just making myself look uncomfortable.

    A value pre theater menu is available at £21 for 3 courses, but the a la carte seemed much more enticing...
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  1. One of the features of Arbutus is that you can order NICE wine by the carafe so we carefully considered the menu as we sipped a crispy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to start.

    The menu is small and perfectly formed with enough variety to cater to a coeliac and a vegetarian. I chose Squid and mackerel ‘burger’ with Cornish razor clams. As a South African, I am picky about seafood but I didn't have anything to complain about when this delicious work of art arrived - well cooked, perfectly seasoned with a hint of the sea...
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  1. Published : Sunday, 8 September 2013

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Arbutus

    The interior of Arbutus speaks of understated elegance; white walls are lined with monochrome photos and lots of natural light filters in through large windows. Its best feature is how generously sized and spaced out the tables are – a welcome change from the usual packed-like-sardines experience.

    Arbutus makes full use of ingredients which are most usually discarded, utilizing ox and lamb tripe, trotters, and pigs head. It’s a clever idea to revert to offal, and a veritable cash cow considering how cheap these ingredients are and the mark up in price on the menu...
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  1. Published : Tuesday, 29 October 2013

    Munch My Way :: Arbutus, Soho

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    Arbutus is a contemporary bistro located at the heart of Soho, the brainchild of Anthony Demetre and Will Smith..

    Since opening in 2006 they have received one Michelin star on the first year opening.. I first heard of this place from a friend of mine who said the meal was rather delicious and at great value. With that in mind and a couple of peaking as I sometime walk pass, i just have to give it a try…


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  1. Arbutus has long been on my bucket list to try. I have been to the pop up that Anthony Demetre did at Tower 42 just before it became City Social and absolutely loved it (read my review here). For one reason or another I’ve just never gotten round to visiting Arbutus. When I received an offer for a 4 course meal plus welcome cocktail for £35 in my inbox, I decided to book the restaurant for my next girl’s get-together. Located in the heart of Soho, Arbutus was opened in 2006 by Chef Anthony Demetre and his business partner Will Smith. It has also held one Michelin star since 2007. It sounded perfect for our dinner.

    Arriving...
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Anthony Demetre

When Anthony Demetre & business partner Will Smith launched Arbutus in 2006, they were aiming for an informal, value-for-money & technically assured restaurant focusing on inexpensive, seasonal ingredients. Their panache & skilful execution saw the plaudits flood in for their Soho restaurant, including a BMW Square Meal Award for Best New Restaurant & a Michelin star in January 2007. The pair followed this up with the equally successful Wild Honey in Mayfair, which garnered similar accolades the following year. To cap it all, Arbutus was recently named BMW Square Meal Restaurant of the Year 2010 in recognition of the owners' matchless approach to affordable fine dining.
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