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Freak Scene

Restaurants, Pan-Asian Soho
2 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

A Pan Asian pop-up gone permanent from ex-Nobu chef Scott Hallsworth.

Freak Scene is a small, much-hyped Japanese-Pan Asian fusion restaurant known for wacky dishes like ‘sashimi pizza’. It’s counter dining only, and it’s cool: there’s a projector, manga-style posters on the walls, and hipster music on the stereo. It’s all the brain child of Scott Hallsworth, former head chef of Nobu (and also owner of Japanese dude food joint Kurobuta).

Off a wordy small plates menu, the bao-like pork sausage bun with spicy mayo was delicious. The ‘patty’, though it was from land, not sea, had the spongy-yet-fragrant air of a Thai fish cake, and came with some tangy pickled cucumbers and crushed peanuts for texture. But everything else was sadly too sweet, or drowning in sauce. I loved the idea of the crab wonton ‘bombs’ (their crispy yellow casing was like a cross between a taco and one of those Insta-famous bubble waffles), but there was so much sweet chilli sauce in them you couldn’t taste the meat. The chicken-fried chicken (cooked in bird broth) was well cooked, but again, too much peanut sauce, while the salmon on that famous pizza was delicious on its own, but ironically, the dish this time needed sauce (something creamy to complement the textures of the soft fish and the hard taco-like base, perhaps).

The menu at Freak Scene is undoubtedly creative, but sadly most of the dishes fell flat. Go for a drink and the novelty of it all – and definitely get that pork sausage bun.

By: Kelly Pigram

Posted:

Details

Address: 54 Frith Street
London
W1D 4SL
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Court Rd
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £100.
Contact:
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Users say (5)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|5
2 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

Don’t listen to this reviewer. I went to Freakscene when a pop-up and then again when they moved to soho and it does not disappoint. The food is great (Asian tapas is the best!), the staff attentive and friendly and if Scott is there, you’ll likely be having a shot with him.


Going to echo others here this reviewer for timeout is wrong. The food was excellent and service wonderful. I have a chilli intolerance so often I struggle at a lot of restaurants to eat things without a certain level of discomfort. This was not a problem here, Scott made a separate plate of everything without chilli for me where possible. This was so appreciated in such a busy restaurant to take the time to do this. I will be back. Thanks so much.


I don’t know where the reviewer ate to leave a 2 star review, but it wasn’t here. Food was superb, service on point. Only downside was that due to the generous and delectable portion sizes I couldn’t eat every single item on the menu (although between the three of us we gave it a good crack). Eagerly anticipate my next visit.

tastemaker

I've been raving about this place for weeks...so much so, that I forgot to share the love on here!


Echoing much of what @Michael R  has said in his review, Freak Scene is a little underrated joy of delight in the Soho grid. My friend and I stumbled across this place on a balmy Tuesday evening and what followed was highly unexpected.


The food is delicious. The tapas rules went slightly out the window as after ordering an initial set of plates, we then ended up adding more after seeing what other diners were having...and vice versa, they ended up ordering things we had that they didn't. Note: a joyful indication of the atmosphere that this quaint joint is able to conjure from its wrap around dining bar. A particular highlight was the foil baked garlic mushrooms with sake, soy and butter...my mouth is watering as I type this.


I'm always skeptical of the wrap around dining experience, overlooking the kitchen and the chefs at work. But my nit picking at the thought of smelling like something grilled subsided after a couple of their delicious shots (NSFW named shots, that is, but equally titilating), which for a Tuesday night, was probably not the best move. But hey, #YOLO and all that.


The staff and service is an 8/10. We had a great time chatting to the staff and chefs; even ended the night with shots all round. Again, probably explains the ineffective Wednesday I had. Enthusiastic bunch who are deeply passionate about the food. Some little negligent moves such as forgetting one (of the trillion) plates we had ordered but swiftly resolved when settling the bill. Overall, a gem of a find in Soho.




tastemaker

Scott Hallsworth is no stranger to top notch Japanese fare as demonstrated by his past involvement in Nobu and then his own restaurant, Kurobuta. As our server explained, the Australian chef has been looking for a new project and so Freak Scene, a 3-month Japanese pop-up based in Farringdon, was born.


Freak Scene is a small restaurant that offers a fairly concise but appetizing tapas-style menu. One of each of the 10 plates on offer was more than enough for our group of four and we left very happy and full. I can honestly say that every single plate was full of fantastic flavours and presented well but definite favourites were the miso grilled aubergine with caramelised walnuts and the chilli crab and avocado wontons, the former of which we weren't going to order at all but were fortunately talked into. 


A couple of minor grievances that, as you can see from my score didn't work against the place substantially but are worth a mention, were the make shift decor/setup (but then again it is a pop-up) and the expensive wine, with the cheapest bottle at £33 which really drove up the final bill.


Overall, I am very glad I went to this place and enjoyed it thoroughly; having launched in July, there can't be long left of their temporary residency, so I can't recommend jumping on this place ASAP!



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