A Soho stalwart, so seemingly unchanged over the years that our review of 20 years ago still stands today: ‘…a jolly bistro, always packed to the gills with lunchtime regulars. The wine list is well chosen, the food unpretentious…’ ('Time Out Eating & Drinking Guide', 1994).
And that’s exactly how the customers like it: unfussy starters (daily-changing salad, welsh rarebit, smoked salmon plate or dressed crab are typical) and no-nonsense, well-portioned mains, such as roast lamb with butter beans and broccoli. It’s like the best sort of dinner party food (if your hosts had a great wine cellar). Chicken and mushroom pie with mash had smooth but not over-rich mash, pastry done to a T, and a generous filling. Desserts such as sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream (Neal’s Yard cheeses and a choice of sorbets are further options) complete the picture.
Set on two small, slightly cramped floors, the look is wine bar-shabby and the atmosphere cosy; service is brisk but friendly. Kick off with the Kingston black apple brandy aperitif and forget about food fads and restaurant pop-ups for a few hours.