Arbutus on Soho’s Frith Street is a very relaxed Michelin starred restaurant. It hold one star, serves up delicious food but there is not a linen tablecloth in sight.
Instead the interior is modern and clean with wooden tables and sparse decorations. The less is more philosophy seems to go for the food as well.
I was here with Laura and Gaby last Saturday to celebrate Laura’s birthday. We had a drink at Lab bar first and then a glass of prosecco here at the table while studying the menu.
Laura and I chose the same starter and this dish seems to be one of their signature disges with crisy pig’s head with potato purée and pickled turnip. The meat was crispy and soft at the same time and plump with umami. It was divine and matched the smooth puré and sharpness from the pickle perfectly. I can’t praise this enough!
Gaby’s vegetarian starter was just as wonderful. Both grilled and tempura tenderstem broccoli with an amazing Caesar mayonnaise. This is certainly the nicest broccoli any of us have ever tasted. So so good!
We were certainly lyrical about the starters and could have had every single one however the maincourses didn’t stand out as well on the menu. We all chose the beef recommended by our waitress and it was magnificent when it arrived.
It was quite a grainy cut but cooked to perfection and full of flavour. The dauphinois potatoes were delicious too and the spinach and onion pieces as well. Such a delight to eat. However, this is quite close to the type of food I would cook myself (although obviously not as well!) which is why I was more excited about the starters that felt less like home cooking and more restaurant-y. With that said though, the hearty mains really work with the rest of the Arbutus’ concept and I really enjoyed my beef.
After these meat heavy and delicious dishes I was really full but still decided to keep the girls company with a pudding. This one scoop of absolutely perfect dulce de leche icecream and a few spoonfuls of milky custard was a perfect ending to my meal and I managed to finish it despite being so full!
Gaby and Laura chose a more put together dessert with aerated white chocolate (it looks like pre-sliced white bread), poached pears and an amazing salt caramel mousse. Such a great combination of flavours although the pears were a bit on the harder side.
This was such a fabulous meal. We enjoyed absolutely everything; from the service, the wine, the relaxed interior, the painting made from pencil shavings to the almost pornographic pictures from the 1920s in the restrooms… But most of all the food! Absolutely a-ma-zing!
Arbutus, 63 — 64 Frith Street, London W1D 3JW