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|Address:||63-64 Frith Street, London W1D 3JW|
|Tel:||020 3551 9855|
|Price: £46.00||Wine: £19.50||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -3pm) Mon-Sat 5-10.45pm (Fri-Sat -11.15pm) Sun 5.30-10.30pm|
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With our appetites and anticipation fully whetted from a recent visit to Wild Honey, Arbutus proved both a treat and a let down.
In the midst of Soho, the restaurant is in a buzzy lively areas, and on entering it was the same buzzy lively atmosphere, although my table was butt up against another table divided only by a flimsy screen, so we had to endure the shouty man’s conversation next to me. As a side note, quite a few tables had high chairs so it is family friendly too.
The food was very good bistro fare, there are no fancy extras of amuse bouches or anything like that so in fine dining terms it is a little austere.
For starters we had crispy pig cheeks and Asparagus with poached egg, both very good. Mains were saddle of rabbit with liver wrapped in bacon and sea bream with mussels and chorizo. The rabbit was fantastic, mainly due to the outstandingly tasty liver running through it, very strong and rich flavour. The bream was cooked superbly and the muscles were some of the tastiest and tenderist I’ve ever had.
Cheese to follow, selection of their 5 (only) choices, the let down here was I prefer crackers with my cheese as I don’t really want a muckle big cheese sandwich after my main!
Cold chocolate fondant (not the sponge thing but more a torte) and treacle tart to finished us off, both very yum.
It is bistro fare done well in a convivial and pleasing atmosphere. But a bistro it is, the food is brought promptly, you pour your own wine and you get exactly what you order, no little compliments of the chef going on, so you are in and out fairly promptly. Whether that is a good or bad thing probably depends on your company!
The food service and atmosphere all a treat, as for the let down; well it was not long since we dined at Wild Honey, and the menu is very similar with them both sharing many of the same dished so it was very much like returning to the same restaurant after only a few weeks, which lessened the experience for me.
I’d highly recommend either restaurant but not both.