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Arbutus - opening soon in Soho


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Can I put my hand up in support of the much abused 'squid and mackerel' burger??  OK, it feels a litle out of place amongst the general Frenchy pigginess - but its really really good!  and the bbq sauce takes no hostages either.  Be brave!

You were there as well? Which one were you?

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I think Arbutus must win the coveted "Restaurant-with-the-most-eGulleters-through-the door-on-the-first-day" prize by a country mile. The numbers by the end of week should be impressive.

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I think Arbutus must win the coveted "Restaurant-with-the-most-eGulleters-through-the door-on-the-first-day" prize by a country mile. The numbers by the end of week should be impressive.

sem was there too, but she's being coy about posting her thoughts :cool:

Sarah

Sarah

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I think Arbutus must win the coveted "Restaurant-with-the-most-eGulleters-through-the door-on-the-first-day" prize by a country mile. The numbers by the end of week should be impressive.

And who's going to get the prize for the first Bar Shu/Arbutus double header?

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Jesus, when exactly are all you e-gulleters eating there?! I was there for lunch at 1pm today (tues 16th May) and at a rough guess there was only about 4 or 5 other tables occupied! It was 3/4s empty.

PS going back for more on friday - that Roast Hereford Rib on the next table looked bloody marvelous

PS watch out for unchilled carafes of white.

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Jesus, when exactly are all you e-gulleters eating there?! I was there for lunch at 1pm today (tues 16th May) and at a rough guess there was only about 4 or 5 other tables occupied! It was 3/4s empty.

PS going back for more on friday - that Roast Hereford Rib on the next table looked bloody marvelous

PS watch out for unchilled carafes of white.

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Jesus, when exactly are all you e-gulleters eating there?!  I was there for lunch at 1pm today (tues 16th May) and at a rough guess there was only about 4 or 5 other tables occupied!  It was 3/4s empty. 

PS going back for more on friday - that Roast Hereford Rib on the next table looked bloody marvelous

PS watch out for unchilled carafes of white.

I don't think it is Hereford anymore, now unspecified breed of Scotch beef.

I've did Bar Shu last week for lunch when visiting the unfinished Arbutus. Does that count as a double header?

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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BTW, the Arbutus website is now functional,

Hell, I thought this was the Arbutus website.

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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Mary and I will be there early Thursday evening, but this is NOT an invitation to join us! If any Gulleteers were to approach our table, I would certainly not speak to them!  :raz:

/e backs away, takes refuge behind the menu....

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I hate to be the voice of dissent but my experience of Arby’s last night wasn’t’ that great.

First – what’s wrong with side plates for bread? The table mats are brand spanking new but I don’t reckon they are either disposable (a tad too expensive) or easily cleanable. The bread was a bit, hmm, stale

Menu is great if your not a vegetarian

Waiters seemed rushed – but we initially put that down to just opened syndrome

Once the opened the wine they left us alone – they got a lot of brownie point for that

Starters – lamb & sweetbreads – very good but as someone pointed out – a little too strong raw potato flavour. Also – this is really a main course dish – a little too heavy for a starter.

The chicken oysters – started off good & balanced but dish went cold within seconds & then the hazelnut became the dominant flavour. The macaroni didn’t really add anything to the dish. It was very pretty to look at as were most of the dishes (except the asparagus which the table next to us had - it look very grim indeed).

Mains of veal & rabbit. The veal looked almost exactly like the lamb which was a bit of a shame. Tasted very good but there was a lot of fat/gristle left on the veal – not so pleasant. Also went cold in seconds.

The rabbit pie was very much the star dish of the evening. The liver stuffing for the saddle was way too strong but thankfully the mustard in the sauce was kept very much under control.

Cheesecake had a very unpleasant skin to it – but was surprising delicate & light.

Chocolate soup was really just a warm mousse but the plate was so hot that it kept cooking the mousse & it started to split. The accompanying ice cream wasn’t particularly robust – lacked flavour & texture.

Throughout the meal we felt very rushed – pestered even – to make up our minds about what to order and the courses arrived supersonically fast. Sometimes this is what you want but mostly I prefer to have an gently paced meal.

Some of this is obviously down to just having opened – rushed service & cold food. The restaurant is beautifully designed except for one thing: those awful fucking Victorian porn postcards in the toilet. Please, please – some tell them to get rid!

Oh - and Giles Coren was in - terrible table manners - looked like he'd never held a knife before :rolleyes:

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Was it full last night?

Full of bloody eGulleters by the sound of it.

I had a great time.

Thought the idea of serving an entire pig's face compressed into the size of a mars bar was inspired and that pieds et paquets (a similarly rich, gelatinous treat but from the other end of the pig) would form a perfect balance. I wasn't disappointed. I wish I still had a moustache to suck it out of.

Wine was splendid, service charming.

Could have done without the Teflon tablecloths which shift the entire setting every time you touch them. Oh, and Giles Coren.

Spotted Battleofthebulge who, in a clever twist on the old red carnation trick, was wearing a table full of Canadians.

Who else was there?

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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So what's the betting that Mr Coren will review Arbutus based on his half priced preview meal and say something along the lines of "its simply not done to review a restaurant in its first week when they are offering a discount on the food. It would be like reviewing a theatre production before press night. But I don't give a flying f*** so here goes" only in a far wittier way. And I bet The Masch gets in there early doors as well - I wouldn't be totally amazed if its was in today's edition. It will definately be next week's main review.

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I thought battleofthebulge was going tonight? :blink:

Andy, I think they were limiting numbers in the first week while they settled in.

As for bread plates, hardly anybody seems to do them these days, I suppose a side plate on the table might make it a bit cramped?

Still trying to decide between the Pigs head and Chicken Oysters for tonights starter :wacko:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Mr Hayward was instantly identifiable by his solitude and large grin. His status as Important E-Gulleter was confirmed at the end of the meal by his order of a carafe of Sauternes. Style!

Our impressions were, well, mixed. Step-mother-in-law deemed the nude piccies of women in the washroom to be '"unneccesary" and the design of the lavs "stark". Overall, I thought the design was good, but not outstanding. Lacks a certain warmth; felt a bit sub-Malmaison, if you know what I mean. And the acoustics are loud, though that could just have been Giles.

Food: the pigs head was certainly pig, but thankfully completley unidentifiable as head. Very rich, great fat, but not quite warm enough and had a slightly doleful air as if it had been made to wait around for s-m-i-l's asparagus. I LOVED the rabbit saddle and, to contradict another august member, felt it could have been served without the cottage pie which I thought was underseasoned. Other half opined that the pesto and olive oil in the soupe au pistou were terrific and he would have been quite happy eating it without the veggies. His lamb was deep red and very lamb-y. Don't know what they put in the grass in the Elwy valley but it definitely adds to the flavour. S-m-i-l's bream was "very good".

Wine: we ordered a whole bottle of the French Sauv Blanc, thus avoiding the unchilled carafe issue. Not at all Old-world-y, fresh and good length of flavour. The Marlborough Pinot Noir went reasonably well with the lamb, but wasn't outstanding; not much fruit. My Pinotage (bit too hefty for the rabbit, but never mind) was excellent. Nice example of what they're now doing with this maligned grape - lots of spice and fruit, quite sweet. Tasty!

Thanks to the offer, came out at just over the ton for four starters and mains, lots of wine and a glass of fizz to start. Even without the half price food it would still have been reasonable value overall for food of this standard. We will definitely be back, with ear plugs.

Sarah

Sarah

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Food: the pigs head was certainly pig, but thankfully completley unidentifiable as head. Very rich, great fat, but not quite warm enough

I loved this, but had a single niggling concern - that the texture might be deemed unpalatable if it wasn't warm enough. Mine was ok, but I can see how it might not agree with some people.

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