While Soho is increasingly gentrified and you may have trouble finding some of the racier sides of life, that you once could, it has made up for it by giving you places to eat and drink galore, with piles of new restaurants opening in a steady stream. Here are 5 new restaurants to try out.
Pizza and pasta chain, Vapiano, just opened in Soho, is somewhere between a restaurant and a canteen. You go and order at a counter where they make the meal in front of you as you wait but you have table service for your drinks order. It's a bit of a gimmick, in a relaxed venue that would work for a speedy meal when you need to grab a bite, or equally for a good natured party. The food is reasonable prices and the staff cheery.
Shoryu Ramen Carnaby
Shoryu Ramen (pictured above) is a Japanese Ramen shop in Carnaby that, as you would expect for a Japanese restaurant, is decorated simply but extremely stylishly. Don't be fooled into thinking the only thing worth sampling is the ramen, their hirata buns filled with vegetable and meat are delicious and you can wash it all down with some Japanese beer, which is the only beer they will serve.
The Noodle House
The Noodle House, a South East Asian, you guessed it, noodle restaurant, opened in Dubai in 2002 and has branches across the world. It may not knock your socks off with culinary excellence, but a moderately priced bowl of noodles in the centre of town (on Shaftesbury Avenue on the far eastern side of Soho, ironically), could be what you are looking for. Also, if the food isn't going to sell it to you, the interesting cocktail menu might.
The Palomar near Piccadilly Circus, to the joy of Ottolenghi fans out there, is bringing the taste of Jerusalem to London. For those who like to stare with beady eyes as the chefs cook for you, there is a bar looking into the kitchen. For those who like to think that food simply appears courtesy of the gourmet fairy, there are seats away from the bustle of the kitchen. The dish to go for is the overwhelmingly decadent ‘Polenta Jerusalem style' with asparagus, mushroom ragout, parmesan & truffle oil.
21 Bateman Street
If you can get passed the name Batemen in the title (which is of course also the pyscho, in American Pyscho), 21 Bateman Street in the centre of Soho is a perfectly charming, non-murderous venue. A Greek restaurant, to be visited when the colours and smells of the Mediterranean fill your dreams but the rain and grey of London fills your waking hours. It's run by Greeks and rocks through a speedy, simple service at good prices. Try the Souvlaki, for a hit of authentic delicious smoky meat.
Have you discovered any new Soho venues recently? If so, share them with everyone by using the comments box below.
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