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|Address:||16 Brewer Street, London W1F 0SQ|
|Tel:||020 7768 0259|
|Price: £42.00||Wine: £20.00||Champagne: £44.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10pm)|
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Randall & Aubin is not what I expect at all: I was thinking elegant oyster bar and Ooh La La but it's more toilet conversion chic and Po Na Na. I guess a slightly grubby clubby feel suits its Soho location better. I managed to book for a Sunday lunchtime which was neither difficult, despite the supposed no booking rule, nor necessary, as it was half empty with everyone else enthusiastically watching the marathon. Service is a bit patchy: our waiter is solicitous, bordering on flirty (fine by me), but when he's not around the others seem unwilling to pitch in and I have to wave like a drowning puppy to get my first glass of wine whilst waiting for my friend. It's not the most comfortable place to sit in either: our knees knock against the counter where we are seated or, in the case of my long legged friend, “perched” and even my short legs feel like they're squashed into an economy seat on a no frills flight to a not-quite-short-haul-enough destination. Still, 3 large glasses of Albarino and one sighting of Millie Mackintosh from MIC aka Mrs Professor Green (people-watching one advantage of the uncomfortable bar stools by the large street-facing windows) seem to take the edge off. The wine list is great and would be reason enough to swing in with a long list of interesting, but not intimidating, options most of which are offered by the glass. The menu looks like, and is priced like, a good old fashioned fishy bistro. We had a juicy dressed crab and a flavoursome but rather oily, messy plate of prawns which I happily pulled apart but wouldn't be suitable for anyone in a white shirt followed by 2 slightly disappointing desserts (lemon tart being more cheesecake-like than the cheesecake itself) but the crispy, salty fries and liberal supply of bread may well have been highlights of the meal. So it isn't going to be my new go-to classic or delicious dive (our bill was £60 a head, admittedly half of which was booze) but I wouldn't avoid it either.