Firebird London

Eastern European, Modern European·
££££
·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Firebird London

Bronze Award

Like the mythical creature which provides its name, Firebird has flown somewhat under the radar since opening in Soho. Founders Madina Kazhimova and Anna Dolgushina, of much-lauded Wong Kar Wine in St Petersburg, have arrived in London with little fanfare, and planted their flag on the north side of Soho. And yet - food cooked over fire, low intervention wines, an industrial-chic dining room… is this sounding familiar yet?

Still, the dining room is lovely on the eye. The mottled, deconstructed look of the walls is a nice contrast with the sleek furniture, and a wooden pergola encases the dining room, providing space for a handful of climbing and hanging plants.

The first thing you notice as you walk past the open kitchen is the smell - it’s the exciting whiff of smoke and caramelisation, as smoke trails drift from the open grill and into the restaurant. We’d find out pretty quickly, that smell was the toasted focaccia - a must order, if only to mop up the invigorating white wine butter sauce surrounding a heap of grilled prawns.

When Firebird is at its best, it’s delightful. The aforementioned prawns, for example, or a hulking lump of halloumi, which emerges branded with angry grill marks, covered in honey, truffle and slices of pickled plum. It’s a blissful combination that had us carefully assembling each mouthful in search of the perfect ratio.

Drinks have also been carefully considered - Dolgushina’s wine list is smart, with lots of room to explore different styles, and we loved the Bergamot Spritz cocktail, made with bergamot liqueur, white vermouth and sparkling wine.

The menu promises a great deal, but doesn’t always deliver - cooking over live fire can be a tricky business. A lamb leg steak, for example, arrived pretty rare by our tastes, whilst a piece of monkfish was a tad over, though still delicious. At around £70 a head, Firebird isn’t cheap either. That price pushes it into a bracket with some seriously good London restaurants, but with a few small tweaks, Firebird may yet soar amongst the best of them.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Eastern European, Modern European
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Lively, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Dates

About Firebird London

Firebird, named after a mythical creature from Slavic folklore, is the creation of St Petersburg restaurateurs Madina Kazhimova and Anna Dolgushina. The restaurant name refers back to the preparation method that makes Firebird dishes unique - everything on the menu is at some point touched by fire.

The kitchen holds both a charcoal and wood-fire oven, and churnes out dishes that are anywhere between slow-cooked to charred. These smokey flavours contradict with the acidic taste from the pickled and cured items on every plate - the restaurant also focuses on fermenting, curing, and pickling. Together, Firebird produces a European menu expansive in both regionality and taste.

Begin your meal with fresh-baked traditional rye malt bread served with dill butter, and choose from a selection of home-made salamis, bresaola and lardo. Starters include raw seabass with fermented fennel and charred pineapple vinaigrette and a chicken liver pate éclair topped with puffed raisins and walnut. Try out some of the fired items for mains - such as roasted duck breast with plum chutney and burnt plums or rump steak accompanied by burnt onions, smoked bone marrow and sorrel herb salad. But save room for dessert - there's a honeycomb tiramisu cake on the menu.

Another attraction on the menu is the wine and cocktail list curated by sommelier Anna Dolgushina. She selects wines from small-scale producers, meaning the list constantly changes. Interestingly, the pairing menu consists of 8-10 cocktails, each including flame-kissed elements to garnish or flavour the drinks. Try out the gooseberry and thyme gimlet with kombucha or the toasted white sesame sour. 

Firebird's interior is as intriguing as its menu - wood paneling calls back to the hearth, and certain seats are positioned around flame cooking. It is a relaxing and Mediterranean vibe inside, while reflections and shadows mimic the feeling of being under an olive tree, enjoying a meal. And don't worry - slatted wood paneling is used to keep out the London rain and preserve the heat, although you'll hardly need it in a fire-themed restaurant.


FAQs

How big is the restaurant?

It seats 46 covers.

Helpful? 0

Does the restaurant serve alcohol?

Yes.

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Location

29 Poland Street, Soho, London, W1F 8Q

07713 737813

Website

Opening Times

Dinner
Mon 17:00-23:00
Tue 17:00-23:00
Wed 17:00-23:00
Thu 17:00-23:00
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 12:00-23:00
Sun Closed

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