Randall & Aubin 1

16 Brewer Street , London, W1F 0SQ

7 reviews

42 Fish Soho

Randall & Aubin

SquareMeal Review of Randall & Aubin

Established in 1996, Brewer Street’s seafood mainstay is classic Soho: cool, relaxed, a tad cramped and buzzing with life. A disco ball and party music add some fun to the otherwise “quirky” mix of white marble counters, black-leather stools and gleaming tiled walls, while tight counter seats mean style wins over comfort. Seafood fans will appreciate the overflowing displays of shellfish on ice, while the partially open kitchen spins out a varied choice, from “amazing-value” fruits de mer and prawn cocktails to beef carpaccio and veal schnitzel. There’s also a dedicated oyster menu, supported by Randall & Aubin Champagne by the glass. Prices seem slightly inflated and we recommend avoiding the deep-fried options, but quality and presentation are impressive – as are the luscious desserts. Service is swift and slick, but don’t miss the effusive notes on the well-chosen wine list. With Randall & Aubin Manchester now up and running, this outfit’s future looks bright.

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7.3

Food & Drink: 7.7

Service: 7.3

Atmosphere: 7.1

Value: 7.1

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 02 May 2014

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.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

La Gringa bronze reviewer 20 September 2012

Two of us walked in on a busy night, we were accommodated immediately. The service was excellent, crisp and friendly without being intruding. The food was outstanding- pan fried scallops were delicious and a sea bass with vegetables. A bottle of Chilean Tierra Antica was a reasonable £21 and very good value for money. The patrons were young and attractive, dancing under the disco ball. My only complaint is the music was too loud and sometimes made conversation difficult. Other than that, we will be back soon.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Lisa K. 03 March 2012

Disappointing experience, the maitre'd was rude, arrogant and generally unwelcoming, making it obvious he hoped we would not wait for a table. Our oysters were bitter and unexceptional, my boyfriend's Halibut was very good however my Turbot was swimming in oil and the gratin potato & leek, soggy and oily. Whilst I was hoping for a lively atmosphere and not a romantic meal, I found that we were shouting at each other to be heard. Our meal was redeemed somewhat by a charming waiter who provided friendly and efficient service. My experience before Christmas with a friend couldn't have been more different, unfortunately my latest experience means I won't be coming back nor recommending this restaurant in the future.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Mark R. 13 June 2011

Spent a very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon drinking Randall and Aubin's own label champagne, and trying everything the Plat de Fruits de Mer had to offer. The service is unfussy but helpful. It's a restaurant where the food is the star – and how often is that the case in this day and age. We loved the the decor – you can see the place as a butcher's shop, whilst the high tables lend the restaurant its own style. The only thing you must do whilst there – try the sticky date pudding. Even if you think you can't manage another thing. Trust me, your life will be the poorer for not at least having one mouthful.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 21 February 2011

There aren't too many great fish restaurants in London and, whilst this is a perfectly acceptable place to while away a few hours with a pint of prawns and a muscadet, it isn't, in truth, even one of the best fish restaurants in Soho (thank you Wright Brothers). We went for a late lunch on Saturday, and the place was packed. This is perfectly fine if you're in the mood to share a table, but the grumpy couple next to us looked most affronted that their bags would have to get down from the high chairs and sit at their feet, so that we could use the chairs for their intended purpose. We moved to a window seat when one became free before our order was taken. And the window seats are the ones to go for, affording a view over the joys of Soho traffic, some interesting Thai massage shops and being directly opposite Cox, Cakes and Cookies (despite this being Soho, I am pretty sure that only the latter two of these are on sale). Service is slow, which is fine for whiling, but did mean that more of the afternoon was lost to a second bottle than we had really meant to lose. Not that they got anything wrong, they just didn’t get it right quick enough. The cover charge brings olives and bread, which was perfectly ok. The calamari was also fine, had a bit of a tang to it, but wasn’t anything to write home about. The liver pate was a better than average example, although it did fox our French waitress. Mains continued in the perfectly acceptable, nothing to cause a song-and-dance routine to spontaneously break out trend: roasted langoustines at nearly a fiver each were a bit of an ask (and the chips that came with them were really not worthy of the name). Pan fried scallops with fennel was probably the dish of the day, the scallops being nice and firm and the combination the sweet scallops with the tart of the fennel was a hit. Zucchini “frites”, alas, were soggy. Even a liberal dousing of sodium chloride couldn’t revive them. So overall what to make of R&A: whilst I have always found the word “nice” to be bland beyond comparison, R&A is nice. It isn’t dreadful, it isn’t great – it is just fine; it is OK; it is a nice way to spend some time when there is nothing better to do than look out a window, sip a glass of cold white wine and not worry too much about the food.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Stuart N. 15 January 2010

From lining up outside to actually getting a seat can take a while, however it is a good chance to soak up the atmosphere, have a drink and watch the chefs at work! Seated by the window watching the world go by and tucking into a lovely half cray and some super prawns with a bottle of very good NZ Sauvignon Blanc is what heaven will hopefully be like. This is one of the best seafood places with absolutely no pretention. A fun place to be with great service and fantastic food. Love it.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Tina W. 12 September 2009

We're from San Francisco and come to London frequently and are alway in search of great fish and chips. We've now found the place. It's really a small fish restaurtant with a pub like feel and with an excellent broad menu of very fresh cooked and raw choices. We started with 12 Fin de Claire oysters; super fresh, super cold with the juice left in the shell. The fish and chips followed. Both were very crisp but the batter on the fish, unlike other places, was very light and the oil was very fresh. The staff were very attentive and helpful. The experience was well worth discounting the location being across from a sex shop.

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