Arbutus - opening soon in Soho
Posted 16 October 2009 - 10:56 AM
The 'burger' was as good as I remembered, the pie excellent but the saddle underseasoned.
£75 inc. tip - no longer is this a cheap place (if it ever was).
I am off to Wild Honey on Sunday evening and will be interesting to compare.
Incidentally, about 80% of the diners were male.
Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:49 AM
I only returned so soon as I was hoping for cassoulet which didn't make it onto the menu because of the mild weather Crispy pork cheeks (from the pre theatre menu) came with capers and lentils, freebie of Gurnard with Tapenade and Bouillabaisse sauce, Rose Veal loin is decent quality but (and its not a biggy) I would prefer to see it on the bone. Interesting Squash with chocolate and coffee to finish. The chocolate fondant was still as good as the other week.
I agree it has gone up a little but 4 of us still managed to come out at £63 a head including £90 on wine.
Posted 17 October 2009 - 02:07 AM
We need some special eGullet badges or some-such. Maybe a handshake. Or even a funny walk.
I thought the food was generally very good, and was stonking value. We did the pre-theatre menu - three courses for £17. All cheap produce, and far from overwhelming portions, but deftly and tastily put together to create a well-judged and satisfying dining experience. This is going to become a regular early-evening stop-off for me.
Crispy pigs cheek came reformed as a tasty little pressed cake, with gribiche sauce and leaves. Main was a knock-out rabbit moutarde stew;/;. the meat was beautiful, and the veg judged to perfection - wafer-thin slices of carrot, spinach wilted but with bite, and celery that tasted so celery-ish (as Gregg Wallace might say) that it defied belief. Pudding was panacotta with stewed apple; ridiculously simple but delicious.
We also shared a starter of the squid and mackeral burgers as they are a wonderful signature dish and my friend hadn't been before. Sadly they were the only let-down of the night as they were slightly undercooked with floury raw batter in the centre.
The service was bright and buzzy, the room as inoffensive as ever, and all in all it was a seriously good option for grabbing a quick early evening meal. I'll be back again, and I won't leave it so long this time.
I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".
Posted 20 October 2009 - 02:00 AM
Winot, I missed you! I was sat in the main body of the restaurant and it certainly wasn't 80% male!
I hope for both our sakes that they were flocking to you rather than shunning me.
Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:11 AM
Posted 24 October 2009 - 11:26 AM
Love the carafe of booze like everyone else. Left with enormous sense of wellbeing. I much preferred Arbutus over La Gavroche (with the exception of cheese trolley) the decor & service, of which, made me feel I was on a White Star Liner and someone was about to announce a collision with an iceberg.
Hare & Polenta
Slow Roast Tri-Tip, (which had been "roasted" but not enough to denature a line of white fat in the interior)
Beef came with a cocotte of dauphinoise
Chocolate Mousse with salted caramel ice cream
And because I'd just heard about Keen's Cheddar on Radio4's Food program, I couldn't resist.
Loved the cheese so much that I headed down to Neal's Yard Dairy to find some the next day.
They were insistent that I not refrigerate it, so it is sat in the chamber of my vacuum packer.
Edited by adey73, 24 October 2009 - 11:59 AM.
Posted 20 January 2010 - 06:08 AM
Shared a desert, two carafes, bottle of water £73 including service.
I ain't gonna complain about that.
Posted 03 January 2011 - 04:15 AM
Good bread and butter as always, well priced wine
A mixture of starters all pretty good, tripe went down better than expected, pigs head was good deep flavour
Just cannot help but feel the squid mackerel burger had that little to much garlic
Mains, again all cooked to perfection, pork belly de jour beautiful and piggy, rabbit looked sharp and tasted better, Bavette as tasty as you will get
Cod a great size portion and could not be cooked any better anywhere in London
Desserts, what can I say ?
Apple tatin 3star without a shadow of a doubt, even better than the classic Ramsay version, the Greenhouse should go to Arbutus for a Master Class!!!!! a very poor attempt recently for dinner there, it was absoulutly perfect, everybody should have the chance to eat it!!
Also brulee as good as you get, and the cold chocolate fondant/mousse again as perfect as you can get, all simple but technically perfect
Service as good as ever, they really do have it just right at Arbutus, to me it is definatly one of the best restaurants in London!!!!
Will be back soon
Posted 03 January 2011 - 05:53 AM
Posted 01 November 2011 - 04:37 AM
For me, it remains THE best value for money lunch in town.
The 'Italian style' vegetable soup had excellent flavours and a nice variety of vegetables, though the two bits of pasta in it were quite horrendous (and in any case putting nothing is better than putting two pieces).
A silver mullet was cooked beautifully and the accompanying vegetables were turned and prepared with class.
Cheeses were OK, actually more than OK considering they were part of a £16 meal.
And the coffee was far better than, e.g., at Pied a Terre. It was a proper Italian espresso.
I'd be a very regular customer if I worked/lived nearby.
Posted 01 November 2011 - 05:12 AM
Posted 07 November 2011 - 06:28 AM
Purple sprouting Broccoli, Italian Lardo with a caesar mayonnaise - excellent Lardo, I believe it was from Antica Macelleria Falorni, just a small amount of the dressing on the served, strongly flavoured with anchovies.
Buffalo Mozzerella with slow roasted Onions and white balsamic vinegar
Fresh ricotta Gnocchi "gnudi" served with a lovely tomato/nduja sauce
Cod fillet, crisp chicken wings, sweetcorn and yuzu puree was really good, the yuzu adding an interesting citrus note and a touch of acidity and the cod about as perfectly cooked as it gets.
Grilled Scottish Beef, salsify, autumn vegetable puree and red wine sauce had a beautiful piece of buccleuch bavette, not normally a breed that I'm keen on but in this cut it had excellent flavour and texture.
Pear, butternut, coffee and chestnut.
English treacle tart with creme fraiche
Pear Clafoutis - a highlight for me, not as eggy/dense as some clafoutis and I was pleased to get the chance to have a portion to myself after missing out at Wild Honey a few weeks ago.
Overall a lovely meal after a bit of a protracted absence, I've commented on it before but consistency at Wild Honey and Arbutus is a massive plus, its difficult to be completely impartial but still my "go to" restaurant when entertaining friends or recommending somewhere to eat in London.
Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:25 AM
I've met anthony a few times and we usually have a good chat, though matt's red carpet and vip room treatment ;) this time was no different and he popped up with some of the lardo on bread which was excellent and sent over a gratis gnudi also very good, i did detect a distinct franco/italian slant to the menu which i thought was usually predominantly french, this is not a problem as they are my favourite two cuisines.
Starter proper was the squid and mackerel burger , which i've never had, by this time all thoughts of set lunch were out ofthe window! A really excellent dish worthy of the praise that of course iwouldn't order in amillion years if i hadn' theard of it but it fully lived up to the hype.
Main was slow cooked veal breast with spaghetti squash and dauphinoise pots, the veal managed to simultaneously hold its shape whilst being uber unctous, and the cocotte of dauphonoise world class.
Unfortunately running short on time i did manange a swift treacle tart and large espresso, a carafe of gruner and nz pinot completeted the tally. A lovely lunch in a convivial room, prices alc really are good considering how quickly large bills can be racked up in the 'small plate' emporiums that proliferate in soho/london.
I won't leave it so long to return.
Posted 16 November 2011 - 05:35 AM
They are well worth looking into.
Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:12 AM
For me Arbutus lacks the environment to be the place for a great relaxed meal in the complete sense, everything feels a bit rushed and cramped and noisy and the waiters always appear a little inexperienced and I would not take a friend there unless she was a terminal foodie. But certainly the best place I know where to have a great solo lunch straight to the point.