The grand space, with a split-level mezzanine and top-notch bar, hums with chatter from a well-healed clientele. It’s a relaxed setting that suits a multitude of occasions, from an intimate dinner à deux to pre or post-theatre drinks with friends.
Food is Modern British: bistro-style fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, as well salads, burgers and sandwiches grace the all-day menu. The choice is extensive but offers no surprises. To start, we shared a Burratina with rosemary marinated tomatoes, kale pesto, crispy kale and grilled sourdough, and kedgeree scotch eggs. Portion size, in both cases, was spot on, and plates were artfully dressed. A delicious start to the meal!
But the starters, disappointingly, were the star turn. The seared tuna nicoise, served with half a gem lettuce, a wilted red onion side salad and far too much gloopy dressing, failed to entice, while the 10oz rib eye (the most expensive dish on the menu at £25) was chewy rather than tender. As mains do not go a long way, order sides aplenty. The beef dripping triple cooked chips are quite delicious and easily the side of choice. You can thank us later.
On ordering desert, however, things brightened up considerably. The indulgent baked vanilla cream, raspberry millefeuille merits recommendation, as does the chocolate orange mousse with mango and lime sorbet. Striking a charming balance in the mouth, the mousse put the meal right back on track.
It’s not a mind-blowing menu, nor is the interior revolutionary. But the service, value and the food are good. It's a great spot for a cocktail or last minute reservation, but by no means is Old Compton Brasserie a destination restaurant in its own right.
|What||Review: Old Compton Brasserie, Soho|
|Where||Old Compton Brasserie, 34-36 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1D 4TT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Piccadilly Circus (underground)|