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Grillshack (CLOSED)

Restaurants, American Soho

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, Grillshack is now closed. Eating & Drinking editors, March 2016.

Sixty-something serial restaurateur Richard Caring (who owns The Ivy, Pizza East and much, much more) is slowly taking over our city. I sometimes picture him sat on a swivelly chair, stroking a white cat, bwa-ha-ha-ing at us for lining his pockets (and given his magnificently bouffant hair, he can be extra smug). But while opening a burger-steak-chicken joint in Soho is a bit like putting a giant cash register out on the street and waiting for us to comes and stuff it with fivers, you’ve got to hand it to Caring – he gives good restaurant.

This once-gloomy site (formerly the Alphabet Bar) now features sunshine yellow walls and semi-industrial stylings (white ‘brick’ tiles, open kitchen, dark woods): all very predictable. But the kitchen is where Grillshack shows its evil genius, in not trying to gild the lily. Our burger had no show-off toppings, but its simple components, from the soft and airy brioche bun to the pink-middled patty and smoky bacon, made for a terrific bite. We also enjoyed a nicely charred piece of flat-beaten rump steak over a generous heap of shoestring fries (the size-zero kind) and marvelled at the dish’s under-a-tenner price tag.

Only the wait after ordering – 35 minutes on our visit, in spite of fast-food-joint counter ordering – and an over-onioned radish ’slaw showed flaws in an otherwise slick operation. But it’s early days yet, and Mr Caring probably has a button to dispatch any inadequate staff directly into a fiery pit.

By: Tania Ballantine



Address: 61-63 Beak Street
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus
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