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Arbutus (CLOSED)

  • Restaurants
  • Soho

Time Out says

Please note, Arbutus is now closed. Time Out eating & drinking editors, July 2016.

Laying tables without salt and pepper is a sign of a restaurant confident in its seasoning and flavours, but on our recent visit to this smart modern eaterie, this confidence was slightly misplaced. A starter of Dorset crab, avocado guacamole, peanut and mango was untouched by seasoning, sauce or dressing, the result being bland rather than bold; and an otherwise delicious salad of broad beans, moroccan lemon and goat’s cheese came with a wild garlic whose delicate flavours were lost to its heavy tempura batter. Arbutus is usually more disciplined, clever and successfully creative with unusual and less-used ingredients, and matters returned to their customary form with the main courses. Scottish salmon was of top quality, dark in colour and light in texture, nicely complemented by a concentrated hazelnut jus. Saddle of rabbit, prettily presented with small root vegetables and stuffed with liver, was intense and succulent – but small, until the accompanying shepherd’s pie arrived 15 minutes later, a nice riposte with its salty flavours. We like the good-value set lunch and pre-theatre menus, the posh but proper puds and the fact that every wine is available by 250ml carafe. Also run by Will Smith and Anthony Demetre are Wild Honey in Mayfair and Le Deux Salons in Covent Garden.


63-64 Frith Street
Tube: Tottenham Court Road tube
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