Gauthier Soho 22

21 Romilly Street , London, W1D 5AF

19 reviews

64 French Soho

  • Gauthier Soho
  • Gauthier Soho

SquareMeal Review of Gauthier Soho

Step through the unassuming, glossy-black door and you’ll discover a high-end French restaurant in what looks and feels like a moneyed Soho resident’s front room – albeit one with lots of tables. This is the elegant domain of Alexis Gauthier, an Alain Ducasse protégé with a penchant for vegetarian and vegan cuisine alongside more conventional offerings. The seasonal carte might include pancetta tortellini in a deeply aromatic chicken jus, pink-roasted loin and rack of Welsh lamb with spiced butternut squash, dates, pistachio and braised spelt or sparkling-fresh wild halibut with salsify and girolles, each labelled with a calorie count – a detail that typifies Gauthier’s nutrition-conscious ethos. More indulgent diners shouldn’t miss the “heavenly” Louis XV chocolate praline, while oenophiles will have plenty of fun with a hefty list that favours the Old World; also, marvel at the “amazing” breads and “fabulous array” of French cheeses. Super-polite service, hushed voices and loud prices signal old-style, special-occasion dining.

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Gauthier Soho is recommended for

Formal | Quiet Conversation | Widely Spaced Tables | Romantic | Special Occasions Under 40S

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Leicester Square Tube Station 229m

Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 315m

Address

Address: 21 Romilly Street , London W1D 5AF

Area: Soho

Opening times

Tues-Sat 12N-2.30pm Mon-Sat 6.30-10.30pm

Nearby Landmarks

Old Compton Street 32m

Curzon Soho 37m

Details

Telephone: 020 7494 3111

Website:

Cuisine: French

Dinner: £40/50/60 (3/4/5 courses)

Private Dining: 4, 12, 20, 26, 40

7.8

Food & Drink: 8.3

Service: 7.4

Atmosphere: 7.6

Value: 7.8

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Jason P. bronze reviewer 01 June 2016

Upmarket feel, great atmosphere and attentive service. Amazing food created by Alexis Gauthier and his team. The tasting menu is highly recommended; in my opinion it is one of the best, particularly their fabulous array of gorgeous French cheeses and freshly made crackers. Don’t fill up on the amazing freshly baked breads at the start (harder said than done - their chorizo and sea salt breads are mouthwateringly super every time), as you will definitely need to save space for dessert, especially if it is their signature Louis XV chocolate praline — heavenly!!!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 23 September 2014

Just minutes from the sex shops of Soho is not perhaps the most obvious place to site a high-end French fine dining restaurant. Diners enter Gauthier (eponymously named after the head chef) through a discrete black door on Romilly Street and find themselves amidst an oasis of calm, a notable contrast to the outside world. We were seated on the ground floor, just one of five tables, with others being located throughout the rest of the townhouse. With such few diners (admittedly all the tables in our room were full), one should – and we did indeed receive – attentive and professional service. Nothing was bad about our experience at Gauthier, but nonetheless we did not come away with the view that we had to return. Some of this may have been a function of the location (attempting to get a taxi home after was a thoroughly painful experience), but the food, while good, was not ground-breaking. Both my comrade and I went for the tasting menu, me the omnivorous one and my comrade the vegetarian one. Tasting menus should normally allow for a chef to demonstrate their skills to the utmost, but we saw little originality across the dishes we sampled. If I wanted to create an ‘original’ or inventive tasting menu then I certainly wouldn’t start with foie gras, also include scallops, a risotto and conclude the mains with a steak. All were competently executed, but there was utterly no sense of boundary-pushing. Indeed, the only one of my dishes that really stood out was the sea bass, perfectly prepared and enhanced with seasonal greens and a hint of balsamic. My vegetarian comrade was similarly underwhelmed: an ‘Isle of Wight tomato’ is still, ultimately just a tomato, whose taste was not enhanced by stuffing it with tofu, while her main (which came at the same time as my steak) was a notable anti-climax, comprising just two pieces of gnocchi and a lot of garnish. On the plus side, the wines were a success, paired differently with the food for me and my comrade, and generally selected from less mainstream regions. The broader list also looked well put-together and would merit further perusal. In the final analysis, tasting menus with paired wine are never going to be cheap experiences, and if you are paying up, then it is worth going for something better than Gauthier.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

David H. platinum reviewer 09 July 2013

Our first visit for a midweek lunch saw us at this converted townhouse with a dark stairway and spaces that make it obvious that the place wasn't designed to be a restaurant. Things started off well when we arrived 40 mins before our reservation (too hot for more walking round Soho) and were seated right away. Things then went downhill when we had to wait an age for menus and then another age till the young maitre D came to take our order, despite quite a few empty tables. I just can't see the sense in this. Why do you seat people and then keep them waiting for 15 minutes to let them see a menu? And why another 15 minutes (at least) to take our order from a relatively short and uncomplicated menu? The knock-on effect of this was that our three course meal and coffee took well over two hours even though the pace of the food itself was as you'd expect. And trying to hurry things along doesn't work. Trying “excuse me” to a person walking within three feet of you in a quiet restaurant simply results in him walking right on and blanking us completely. Clearly here's a man who considers that customers will get attention when he thinks it's time and not before. Enough of that. My wife chose the set lunch; I chose three courses from the a la carte . All of these courses were at least good, and in each case the cooking was pretty much spot on. My halibut fish course was perhaps the star turn- nicely flavoured and beautifully cooked. I probably would have preferred my main course of lamb three ways without the quinoa and apricot which added a strong (too strong) flavour to the dish in total as quinoa gets everywhere. A touch that in our view didn't work. All the remaining accompanyments to all our courses were fine. We drank a very slightly off dry Cotes de Gascogne from the lower end of the list which was a perfect choice for lunch on a hot day. Our bill for two, including wine, coffee and service, came to £111 and we thought this pretty fair, if only we could get the service thing out of our minds. But as there are a good selection of restaurants offering food of this quality in London at about these prices there is no compelling reason to return. Certainly I don't think the food here beats that which you'd get at Murano, or Pollen Street Social, or Trompette, or Kitchen W8 or others where I can eat in nicer surroundings and more importantly served by people keen to give good service.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Michael R. 03 April 2013

I have been several times for lunch and found it excellent in all respects. Food is well cooked and interesting. The amuse bouche is often something relatively simple but with a twist ( such as kentish carrot with crisp chicken skin) which sets the scene for what is to come. I have enjoyed every single dish I have eaten at Gauthier and the Foie Gras and Rhubarb in white chocolate are two of the best dishes I have eaten in London. Portion size is well defined ( you can see the calories for each dish) and you come away feeling fully satisfied. The sommeliers are pleasant and authorative and if you choose the wine pairings you won't be disappointed despite the modest price. I think this is a restaurant which deserves 3 Square Meal stars when compared with others that have this accolade that I have experienced and the value for money is unbeatable. I am looking forward to to trying it for dinner soon!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

London Gourmet platinum reviewer 28 January 2013

A lovely setting within this soho townhouse mang for a quite intimate dinning experience. The food is not to be faulted either if only for not being neccessarily trendsetting and overwhelming (but delivering you consistent high quality). The only let-down (experienced on two separate occasions so I can't take it as a one off) is the service which I experienced to be sub-standard. The layout of the place might not help (ie they have to run up and down the stairs) but I was left waiting for courses and service way beyond what would be acceptable in a place like this. A shame as it otherwise could be one of the top soho dinner destinations

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Sam O. 22 February 2012

Not vegetarian only (as it is listed here) and not even vegetarian friendly. His vegetable menu, which looks vegetarian, often includes dishes cooked in meat juices (see several articles to this effect on the net, try WSJ. If you don't make that clear on the menu (as he doesn't) that's about as unfriendly to vegetarians as you can get.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Benya 08 November 2011

We eat out a lot, at good restaurants, in London, and Gauthier is the best, really, the best. If you haven't tried it then do. If money is a budget then try the set lunch menu, and go from there. Almost don't want to write this review because I always want to get a table there, but, they really deserve a wonderful review, we've been so many times. And Chef Alexis Gauthier has the most talented Sommelier, Roberto Della Pietra, with such reasonably priced knowledge, a joy! Enjoy. (We sound like we are in the ‘business’, but we really are not, can't exactly give out our phone number to prove the point, just see for yourself).

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 3.0

Someone who loves their food bronze reviewer 06 October 2011

It is rather like visiting someone's house where you have to ring the bell to enter, dine in their sitting room and come across their secret liking for camp art in the loos, all of which I found somewhat pretentious and rather odd. Service was chaotic and every waiter seemed to wait on every table without communicating with each other about what stage of the meal the guests were at. This meant that we were served our first three courses within an hour, then had to wait an hour for the fourth course and then, having waited 45 minutes after our pudding plates had been cleared away for someone to offer us tea or coffee (which they never did), I got bored and asked for the bill. Some of the food such as the lamb and the truffle risotto was very good and tasty. However, some of the food was at best luke warm, the scallops were tasteless and the mango pudding was akin to mango puree made for a baby with a coconut ice-cream bomb you could buy in the supermarket. The saving grace and real asset of this restaurant is the sommelier. We asked him to suggest a wine for each dish and not only did he came up trumps, I would go as far as to say that he rescued many of the dishes from being complete disasters. One surprising and very positive thing about the restaurant is the cost; 5 courses plus wines to match each dish and including service was about £100 per head. To be perfectly honest, Mr Gauthier has always been one of my culinary heroes, I know he has an abundance of talent but it just has not come out to shine in this restaurant yet. I really do hope that the issues I came up against are simply teething problems and Mr Gauthier shows Soho what he is really capable of very soon.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Luke M. 16 September 2011

distinctly underwhelmed… menu confusing and the method of ordering seemed chaotic… staff a mixture of french arrogance and indifference… no one looked happy to be working there…staff looked stressed… food was over complex, portions too small, and courses were either cold or in the case of the risotto too hot (seemed microwave hot) service was poor and slow…used plates not cleared swiftly enough… suggest you do not take larger parties if you can't cope ordered Desert Wine, not chilled…

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

gmbklm silver reviewer 29 July 2011

Gaulthier is discretely located in a characterful townhouse, in a surprisingly quiet Soho side street. The downstairs dining room is small and intimate, and has been simply updated and modernised. Our small taster portions were innovative and interesting variants on traditional French cuisine – very refined and surprisingly light, with delicate flavours. Everything was beautifully presented. Our fois gras fondant and seabass / squid dishes were extremely good. Tasty, but very subtle. Our piglet was less appealing, and in comparison with the other dishes was rather bland. Dessert was very enjoyable. The cheese was good, but not great – I'm afraid I'm a big fan of the big cheese board. Overall, a good hit rate. We received good explanations of each dish as they were served. Service was efficient and friendly, and there were certainly lots of staff around, especially given the limited space ! We were particularly impressed with the sommelier, who was extremely helpful and informative. His choices were interesting, but most importantly (all but one) were delicious and superbly matched with the food. Four taster dishes (to be equivalent to a starter + main) will be circa £110 for 2, inc service. Worth trying the tasting menu at c£65 pp. With suitable drinks, expect a total of c£250+. Seems fair value given the quality. A good choice for a sophisticated and modern take on classic French food, with nicely professional but not over formal service. Recommended. We will return to try some different dishes.

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