Soutine

French·
££££
·
Bronze Award
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SquareMeal Review of Soutine

Bronze Award

St Germain comes to St John’s Wood with this bistro from The Wolseley Hospitality Group, some of the most well-respected restaurateurs in London. The team here have been providing stage sets for fashionable Londoners since reviving Theatreland classics The Ivy and J Sheekey in the 1990s. In the 2000s, their restaurants have split into the Mitteleuropa-themed grand cafés of The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Fishers and the fin-de-siècle French fancies of Colbert and Brasserie Zédel.

Soutine, named after the expressionist artist with a fondness for painting chefs and waiters, is very much in the French-speaking camp and should fill the hole left in north London by the closure of Corbin and King’s Bellanger in Islington.

Soutine replaces a branch of Carluccio’s, but you’d never know it from the swirls of lavish art nouveau styling. The large site has been recreated as the sort of left-bank bistro that Degas’ absinthe drinker might pop in for a pick-me-up, if only she could get a seat.

Try and get a table in the front room which, with its wraparound windows and horseshoe banquettes, is a far more appealing prospect than the skylit dining room behind. Wherever you sit, though, expect to be on first-name terms with your neighbours by the end of your meal – this is not somewhere to come for privacy.

The kitchen sends out well-executed versions of classic French bistro fare interspersed with British comfort food. Fine de Claire oysters are pepped up with shallot vinegar, garlicky escargots come by the half or full dozen, with good bread to soak up the herb butter, firm-fleshed coq au Riesling is served in a cast-iron pot with creamy sauce while haddock goujons are fried in crisp golden breadcrumbs and presented in a cone of greaseproof paper.

To finish, there’s banana split with a jug of chocolate sauce for pouring and an individual Black Forest gateau, boozed up on kirsch and topped with a splodge of cherry jam encircled with eight peaks of stiff cream. To drink, around half the French wine list is available by the glass, while elegant cocktails are sent out from behind the the polished wood bar.

Breakfast is more British – sausage sandwich, Arbroath smokies – though a croissant au beurre with a café au lait or pain au raisin with a chocolat chaud would be très on theme.

There’s nothing ground-breaking on offer at Soutine, just an idealised version of a French bistro serving the sort of well-priced food that most people love eating served by staff who know what they’re doing. It is, though, already the best place to eat on St John’s Wood High Street – and a no-brainer if you’re going to the cricket at Lord’s. Just remember to book.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
French
Ambience
Fun, Lively, Romantic, Traditional
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Child friendly, Dates, Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating

About

On the site of a former branch of Carluccio's, Soutine is similar in style to The Wolseley Hospitality Group's Colbert in Sloane Square. An informal neighbourhood joint, Soutine takes inspiration from the boulevard cafés of Paris, and offers relaxed dining in the front dining room, while the space at the rear of the restaurant is slightly more formal. You'll find old-school dishes on the menu such as plaice goujons served with French fries and tartare sauce, as well as smoked salmon with shallots and capers, and seared seabass with tenderstem broccoli. 

Open daily from 8am, Soutine also offers breakfast and lunch, while an outdoor terrace with space for around 15 is a further nod to Soutine's Parisian inspiration. 

 

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Location

60 St John’s Wood High Street, St John's Wood, London, NW8 7SH

020 3926 8448 020 3926 8448

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 11:30-22:00
Tue 11:30-22:00
Wed 11:30-22:00
Thu 11:30-22:00
Fri 11:30-22:00
Sat 09:00-22:00
Sun 21:00-21:00

Reviews

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10 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

John P

09 October 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Anonymous

16 September 2023  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3
Atmosphere 4
Value 4

John P

10 April 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Quintessential

It is hard not to conclude that people giving negative reviews on this site for this restaurant know neither French food nor French people. A classic top notch experience at the inflated prices of London.

Angela W

04 April 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Excellent!

What a delightful evening!

The food was wonderful.
The atmosphere at the back in the main restaurant was comfortable & relaxed.
The staff were particularly friendly & welcoming.

Overall, a great evening!

Terry N

16 March 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 1.5
Meh...

Was looking forward to eating here for the first time and left slightly disappointed.

Nothing fundamentrally wrong but nothing special either.  

Anon

24 November 2022  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4

The hardest thing in London is finding a restaurant serving consistent quality at an honest price. Unlike in France or Italy, there a limited tradition of returning to the same place over and over and getting to know the 'patron'. In London, chains (even small ones) tend to cut corners over time to satisfy their paymasters and many relationships peter out in disappointment...

Soutine's formula has been remarkably constant. Neither CoVid nor the change of ownership have had any impact on the style and quality of this upmarket French bistrot. So we keep going back and you can't ask much more than that!

Myra W

25 August 2022  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 3.5
Brunch in st John's wood

Friendly welcome,  good choice on menu even for veggies, hot coffee. And excellent service

SteveIllingworth

20 June 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Very friendly and accommodating, great food and service. Thank you!

Anon

03 June 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Perfect lunch venue for the cricket, great food and staff

Anon

06 August 2019  
The food is excellent. Good value. Service is finest ever. They take dogs and offer them water and biscuits., The decor is amazing creating an elegant but relaxed atmosphere. Highly highly recommend.
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