This wine bar has been open for years, but early in 2014 it upped its game considerably by hiring a well-regarded chef-consultant, Mikael Jonsson, of Hedone restaurant in Chiswick.
Jonsson’s not manning the tiny kitchen, but he does supply the bread from his restaurant, and offers pointers on the menu. On our visit we were therefore disappointed to find that one of our baskets of bread (charged at £3.50) was the baking equivalent of bin-ends, a random assortment of offcuts – some of which were stale; the replacement basket was fresh.
A blackboard menu lists appealing, but pricey nibbles: good charcuterie and cheeses, scallop ceviche and pork shoulder were among the options. The dishes we had bore little relationship to the ones described though, as so many ingredients had been substituted – (Cevennes) onion had been replaced with boring broccoli on our pork dish, for example). Hedone restaurant this is not.
But if you change your culinary expectations and come along for a casual and lively wine bar experience, you’ll be very satisfied. The French sommelier is enthusiastic, and the excellent selection of mostly ‘natural’ wines, supplied by small producers, offers plenty of interest by the glass. The location, right in the heart of west Soho, is another plus.