Gauthier Soho is gracious to the point of being rarefied – there’s even a bell on the front door to announce arrivals at the sumptuous Georgian townhouse. The dining areas, spread over two floors, are furnished in shades of cream, and the atmosphere is as hushed as the genteel conversation of the mainly mature clientele.
Alexis Gauthier has made his name turning out cutting-edge French dishes, which often involve putting seasonal vegetables centre stage – perhaps buttery, slow-cooked fennel, baby turnips teamed with salmon, or beetroot purée partnered with scallops. As well as the carte, options include extravagant tasting menus. Top marks go to an intensely aromatic smoked seafood broth, studded with prawns and sea urchin and spiked with citrusy curd made from yuzu. Main courses were decent rather than exceptional. Flavoursome and tender, pink-cooked lamb cutlets, roast sliced loin and confit of slow-cooked shoulder worked well with a meaty jus enriched with roasted garlic.
Desserts were a disappointment: strawberry millefeuille, topped with a whirl of retro whipped cream, was let down by a flat-tasting mismatch of yoghurt and lime sorbet. Service is attentive – at times overly so. Gripes aside, Gauthier Soho remains a worthwhile special occasion indulgence.