The Life Goddess

Restaurants, Greek Soho
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
The Life Goddess

Good Greek cuisine with an admirable wine list in Kingly Court, close to Soho.

A branch of the Bloomsbury deli and café that opened in 2013, this more ambitious venue in Soho is less of a café, more of a restaurant. Amid the plethora of options in Kingly Court, it stands out for having a properly Greek menu and wine list. This is cooking like you'll find in smart resorts or in Athens, for Greeks, not for tourists.

We relished the grilled aubergine, smoky and soft, simply garnished with feta and diced tomato. A salad took horiatiki (Greek 'village salad') as a starting point, but then jazzed it up with pomegranate arils and cherry tomatoes. Gigantes (giant white beans, stewed) were as satisfying as ever, and an octopus stifado was authentically Greek – that is, slow-cooked almost for too long, until meltingly tender.  

The wine list is particularly admirable; Greece now has many new-wave producers making great wines, but these aren't easy to find in London. It's a pity then that on our visit, we found the staff training left much room for improvement; one glass of wine was badly corked, and our server appeared uncomprehending as we explained the problem.

 

By: Guy Dimond

Posted:

Venue name: The Life Goddess
Contact:
Address: 18 Kingly Court, 1st floor
London
W1B 5PW
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus
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Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|9
3 people listening

Food was OK but the main course arrived half way through our meze starter - and we were not eating slowly by any means.  Despite our initially turning the mains away, they persisted saying that there was nothing they could do to correct it and we were forced to abandon the starter and rush the meal.  We won't eat there again and certainly cannot recommend it.

Tastemaker

Kingly Court is home to so many amazing places to recharge your batteries, replenish your plates and refill your wineglasses that when somewhere turns out to be more of a disappointment than a delight, it really stands out for all the wrong reasons.


The Life Goddess is something of a split personality when it comes to a dining experience. The food is excellent – but some dishes are far too expensive for what you get. The Greek ‘hot dog’ was seriously delicious (a generous and hugely moreish portion with beautifully spiced sausages) but unfortunately the tone had already been set by a stupidly expensive starter. Babaganoush with bread was around the £4 mark. Tzatziki on its own was around the £4 mark. Adding a basket of bread – labelled as London sourdough but actually turning out to be grilled pita – doubled the price. £8 for a dip and some flatbreads? Even in London, that’s eyebrow raising, leaving us pretty unimpressed and definitely unwilling to shell out on dessert at the other end of the meal.


The staff are plentiful – but they don’t look at all enthused to be working there. It didn’t take long to be seated and there were more than enough waiters to deal with a full restaurant but there was a brusqueness to service that didn’t make us feel especially welcome.


The décor is nice – but the music is kind of jarring. There’s definitely a Mediterranean vibe and the open windows that overlook Kingly Court itself are a nice touch but the music is incredibly loud (un-necessarily so given that the space itself is actually quite small) and it made chatting over dinner quite difficult.


Greek food isn’t something I’d normally head for and while the Life Goddess has definitely encouraged me to search certain dishes out again, it won’t be here, a place where the inconsistencies are sadly bigger than the positives. 

tastemaker

Delicious authentic Greek food in one of the most beautiful courtyards of central London. The Life Goddess is located on the second floor of busy and lively Kingly Court. The menu offers a variety of authentic Greek dishes (both meat and fish). Don't miss the Greek soil salad which is delicious and a great alternative to the Greek salad. Even though a bit pricey, I would recommend it for a nice and relaxed lunch or dinner.

Tastemaker

I am not too impressed by the life goddess. They have really made an effort to introduce greek cuisine with a "London" twist - being pretentious dishes, small portions and overpriced items. The environment is kind of nice. I would recommend it for coffee but not really for food. On Sundays, they are throwing Greek party (at 7:30 pm) which is definitely fun but probably only if you're greek.


I went into The Life Goddess for dinner on a Tuesday night as Flat Iron, Pizza Pilgrim and The Rum Kitchen had long waits. I should have known then why there was no line at The Life Goddess, but we tried it anyway.


The meal began well with Happy Hour Cocktails and a delicious looking menu, but I was soon disappointed when the food arrived. We shared two starters which was enough, but still not cheap. The Octopus with smokey aubergine was great, but the Greek meze with London bloomer bread was disappointing. Although the menu described it having olives, there were only two on the whole plate. The tuna appeared to come straight from a can and the pickled stuffed pepper was super hard to cut and chewy. My favourite part of the meze was the tzatziki and bread and you don't have to be Greek to be able to pull out a good serve of that!


Definitely not my favourite Kingly Court restaurant and I won't be returning. The atmosphere was good and we were able to get a table straight away, but the food just wasn't up to Soho standards.



Really bad service - we'd booked, and still had to wait an hour for our table. God knows why we waited - probably because I was so hungry/drunk, as we were buying drinks while waiting. There was no offer of a free drink or snack while we waited, the manager didn't seem bothered. The food was good, which is a shame as I'll never go there again - the bad experience totally ruined it for me.


There are so many things terrible about this restaurant that it is difficult to know where to begin. The service that I received here was without a doubt the worst that I've ever experienced.

We ate here as a large group. We booked and arrived on time, but they did not have the table ready so we had to stand around for about 10 minutes. Once we were seated, we had to wait a further 15 minutes to even get the menus. We ordered the food and wine together. It took about 35 minutes for them to bring us the wine, and a full hour to bring us the food. When the food and wine did turn up, they didn't bring enough glasses or enough cutlery. The food all came out at different times and they seemed to forget one person's order, meaning that the person had to sit there while everyone else ate. The food and plates were cold, the portions were small, and the food was incredibly salty.


After the meal, I expressed my concerns to the manager. He seemed to care little about this and even became aggressive. Eventually they begrudgingly discounted the cost of (some of!) the wine. 

Altogether we wasted nearly three hours in this place. I'm also pretty sure that they defrost the food immediately before cooking as you can see the meat sitting in the sink with hot water running over it.


The Life Goddess, experimental is a modern expression of how restaurants are in Greece. Not the touristic ones but those that you would choose if you visited Greece invited by a greek friend. It has a remarkable wine list that includes all the must taste modern greek wines and possible the best octopus in London. 


I can't remember ever leaving a review without being asked, but tonight's experience was so good that I felt I should. The service was great; they were knowledgeable with a sense of humour. The food was absolutely delicious, with new stuff to try for those who are more adventurous and classics for those who like their comforts. We shared a starter, had two mains, a side and wine for £60. The wine was unlike anything I've ever had - in a good way! I thoroughly recommend it.

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