A pedestrian venue from Soho House serving so-so US-style food and cocktails on tap. It's not a patch on its Notting Hill cousin, Electric Diner.
Leopards can’t change their spots. Neither can restaurants: when they stay under the same management, no amount of menu tinkering can change the essential essence. The Soho House group have rebranded the runt of their litter, the Boheme Bar and Kitchen, as the new ‘younger sister’ to Notting Hill’s sexy and hugely successful Electric Diner, bringing in a new menu – but we couldn’t help but think they’d have a hard time matching its bigger sibling.
As we feared, Soho Diner is as pedestrian as before, only this time with cooking straight off the US food bandwagon. A shrimp cocktail starter, served unappealingly on a side plate, lacked oomph. Honey-glazed chicken wings were too dry. Likewise, our Philly cheese steak sandwich had an arid bun. But kids will dig the enormous banana split dessert, served in a glass boat with scoops of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, with lengths of ’nana and shards of Oreo cookies (though they might be hyperactive afterwards). Hen parties will love the ‘on-tap’ cocktails: which are a bit sweet and synthetic (tip: the cosmo is better than the mojito) but a steal at £6. And, to be fair, the burger’s not bad. Choose a ‘single’ to get two patties, or a ‘double’ to get ‘three’ (this from the country that calls its ‘ground floor’ the ‘first floor’). Juicy and served in a soft bun with shredded lettuce and minced onion, they’re improved by a slice of the thick, smoky off-menu bacon.
So why go? Well, the people-watching, if you can snag a window seat, is second-to-none: on a sunny day, there are more bequiffed poseurs with tiny dogs in man-bags than at London Fashion Week. Staff, meanwhile, are genuinely lovely. Two out of three ain’t bad.
|Venue name:||Soho Diner||Contact:|
19-21 Old Compton Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served 11.30am-midnight Mon-Wed; 11.30am-2am Thur-Sat; 11am-11pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus|
|Price:||Main courses £7-£16|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
The food was great. I ordered a single patty burger but when it arrived they'd made it two and that sums up the whole place. The waiter was attentive but not in our face and food arrived quickly but we didn't feel rushed. Definitely worth trying the croquettes to start or just as a side because they are amazing. Loved being able to sit outside too. Can't wait to go back.
I'm eating here every day for my lunch break, the foods is so good and the prices are really cheap !!
Having been here a few times since the revamp it seems to have strayed badly. it was never amazing to begin with but certainly delivered on simple but strong dishes. Lunch today was a different matter. A beetroot cured salmon starter was swimming in a sugary honey syrup - inedible and bizarre. A thin and uninspired caesar salad and mackerel that was not the freshest. Saddest was the burger which looked good but lacked any real flavour. As a place it's still good for drinks and liveliness but don't expect too much from the food.
Soho Diner is an achingly cool and vibey restaurant in the heart of Soho, but with the relaxed twist of an American diner. Serving up simple but delicious American style food - burgers, chicken, and hot dogs. We chowed down on burgers and philly cheese steak sandwiches, which were melt in the mouth scrumptiousness. Washed down by a good drinks menu of beers, wines and the rather novel cocktails on tap. Perfect for summer and cosy winters alike. On a hot summers day, they open the huge windows to the street; making diners feel they on holiday with tables outside - a great place for people watching too!