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9a Archer Street
Mee Market combines take-away counter, dining space and retail outlet under one roof, yet the mixed concept works. The culinary angle is Korean, with diners able to choose from a simple range of well-priced snacks, bowls or soups, most involving meat, although vegetarians are also looked after. Mee Market does not do formality – think tin trays, clear plastic bowls and a zen-minimalist design ethos – but it’s the food that counts here. The soy ginger and sweet and spicy chicken small dishes with which we kicked things off packed a lot of punch, while the more substantial ‘bee bowls’ (rice mixed with meat, vegetables and spicy sauce) showed a good range of flavour and texture along with stylish presentation. Drinks come straight from the fridge and there are only limited desserts and hot drinks are available – more effort on this front would be welcome. Nonetheless, locals seem to love the place, with a constant stream of people queuing for take-outs.
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9a Archer Street
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 181m
Leicester Square Tube Station 306m
Apollo Theatre 30m
Gielgud Theatre 44m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
It’s arguably harder for a restaurant in Soho to succeed than any other spot in London. Such is the range of options that dining spots need to do something different in order to survive. Mee Market has taken an innovative approach, combining retail outlet, takeaway counter and eating space all in one location. The offering is casual Korean, appealing primarily to the lunchtime crowd. This is not a place to linger for a lengthy or romantic meal, but in terms of delivering a satisfying pit-stop, then Mee Market hits the spot. The downstairs dining area lacks much ornamentation, but it provides an almost Zen-like calm, contrasting with the more cramped upstairs, where there seemed a constant flow of people on a recent lunchtime when my comrade and I visited. The formula here is about keeping things simple, with only four main dishes available – think noodle or rice bowls as the base format – with scope to customise, based on meat/fish/ veggie preference. Beyond this, there’s not much: a handful of snacks and some very interesting drinks (sadly not freshly made, but only in a bottled or canned format straight from the fridge). If you’re after much in the way of dessert or even a simple cup of coffee, then forget it. As one might expect, service is quick but basic. The dishes look nice, but come on tin trays and in plastic dishes. Great for speed, if less positive for the environment. The food, however, got a distinct thumbs-up from my comrade and me. With the exception of one pork bite starter, which seemed drowned in MSG, both of our mains (meat for me, veggie for my comrade) packed a range of flavours and textures, leaving us feeling well-satisfied by the end of the meal. At around £10/head all-in for the experience, it would seem churlish to complain too much.
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