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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|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I invited a friend along to join me for lunch at Arbutus this afternoon in celebration of the commencement of 9 week's off work. And it did not disappoint. I dined on the lunch set menu (most of the 9 weeks is unpaid!), which is very good value at around £17 for three courses. Choices are, of course limited, but if you don't want to break the bank the set menu is the way forward. I probably ate the richest three combinations of starter, main and dessert, but didn't come close to being bloated. I just came away feeling nicely full, and very glad that I'd finally tried it out.
Anyway, the meal…
My weakness is always the aperitif (I rarely say no even when having a ‘virgin’ lunch). The £9.95 for the prosecco with clementines and campari was very steep – for that price though you would have thought they should have served it with champagne! Didn't stop me ordering it though, and didn't stop me enjoying it.
For starters I had a divine slow cooked belly of lamb which was very thinly sliced and arranged on the plate in the way that beef carpaccio usually is. The flavour was beautiful – absolutely no mistaking that it was lamb – really tender. It was served with a lightly spiced aubergine and yoghurt concoction described as “Iranian aubergine – kashk bademjan”. If you're into your middle eastern food then you'll love this dish, and if you don't know if you like that type of food or not, then just give it a go as I don't think you'll be disappointed. Incidentally I noticed that this was also on the a la carte lunch menu so thought it was a good option.
For the main I ordered roasted rabbit with savoy cabbage and pancetta. The jus it was served with was delicious, as was everything else on the plate. If you don't like meat on the bone, then this is not the dish for you. The rabbit was also served slightly pink. Clearly, none on this bothered me. It was very, very good.
Dessert was the only disappointment. Bitter chocolate mousse – served with what I think was broken pink sugared pistachios in a metal bowl. It wasn't that it wasn't nice – it was. It just wasn't 'Wow, love this". Just a bitter chocolate mousse, made better because of the texture of the crunchy pistachios.
Ended the meal nicely with a black coffee.
Paid £35 including tip. So I managed to pretty much double the fixed price menu by ordering the apertif! Oh well, no regrets to be honest. Great way to catch up with one of my closest friends – a good excuse for her to take a long lunch.
Smart but casual restaurant. Beautiful space, and very bright, but in a really good way. I could tell it was going to great from the outside looking in. Great place for lunch. Would love to try it for dinner!
Can certainly recommend Arbutus as a great place to get away from the hell that is Oxford Street to enjoy some great food in lovely surroundings. You don't need me to tell you to go there though – it's already got 3 square meal stars!