I prefer to bring lunch with me to work than to grab a sandwich every day. To be honest, as a Swede I could never get used to English sandwished on spongy bread. But when I do go out for lunch on a weekday, I prefer to go somewhere nice and splurge a little, a reward for having packed lunches most days.
Most of the time I go for lunch, I go with my colleague Caroline and this week we ventured to Spice Market in Soho. She had been to the New York branch before so that’s why we wanted to try this place.
The cuisine is Asian and it is all served family style, i.e. the dishes are to be shared and they come out of the kitchen when they’re ready.
We ordered two starters and two maincourses to share, as well as a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Before the first dish arrived we got a warm towel scented with lemongrass to refresh ourselves with. The first dish on the table was crab dumplings with sugar snap peas. The dumplings were nice but not very flavoursome and the whole dish was powdered with way too mush pepper. We also received some poppadoms and chilli sauce which was nice.
We ordered one fish and one meat maincourse, both were ok but nothing special. The fish was sole in a quite thick batter, and it was slightly over done and a bit dry. The ginger and basil emulsion was nice though, but didn’t add much to the bland fish.
The meat was slowly braised and incredibly tender. But unfortunately the broth didn’t have much flavour at all, just some heat at the end from the chillies. As I told Caroline, if I was cooking this, I would not have put it out on the table as it was. It needed garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, there was no oomph and not much flavour, the opposite of what you expect from an Asian restaurant.
Before we ordered we asked how large the dishes were, and we were told that they were of regular starter and main size. On the contrary though, they were huge, especially the mains. The fish consisted of three fillets and the meat was about 200 grams, so not something two girls can demolish when they have had starters as well.
It does not feel right leaving food on the table, but this time we had no choice.
All in all we had a lovely lunch, but that was more because of the company and the wine than the food. I am not sure I will go back, but if I do it would be solemnly because of the mushroom rolls and I would just order starters to share.Spice Market 10 Wardour Street London W1D 6QF