Stephen Vowles enjoys dinner at the Old Compton Brasserie where he finds a desirable location, delectable food, attentive staff and an awesome atmosphere.
With a plethora of eating establishments located on Old Compton Street, this brasserie is quite simply in a class of its own. The large dining space is complemented by a splendid bar that acts as the hub of the premises. Opting as our starters the beetroot cured salmon served with horseradish cream, avocado, pickled fennel, golden beetroot and sourdough crouton, and the tempura oysters served with pickled vegetable and avocado puree, the immediate stimulation of our tastebuds as we devoured them was immense. Our starters were exquisitely partnered with two of the vast selection of in-house Faces of Soho cocktails named after famous people associated with the Soho area; we chose the vodka based Teresa Cornelys and Karl Marx.
With a pleasant break between starter and main course, the vibe created by the Brasserie team is to be truly enjoyed. The background mood music is not intrusive and the subtle change in the lighting as the evening progressed certainly added to the ambience of the evening.
For the main courses, it had to be the sautéed sea bass for me that just melted in the mouth and with a very refreshing use of charred cucumber truly brought out the delicate flavour of the fish, which can so easily be overcooked but in this case was perfection itself.
My partner opted for the traditional steak and fries. Again this can be destroyed by overcooking but when our server asked the traditional question of “How do you want it cooked?”, the meat came back at precisely his request, medium rare.
The wine list is extensive. We went for a French 2017 Cotes Du Rhone Boutinot ‘La Fleur Solitaire’ described on the menu as a very drinkable wine, and I have to completely agree. Quaffable in the extreme. The dessert menu consists of tried and trusted favourites which will end your meal in true style.
The Old Compton Brasserie is a welcome addition to the rich history that Soho has to offer when it comes to having a good time whilst enjoying very well presented cuisine. A firm thumbs up from me.
All day, every day there are free bar snacks for all drinkers at the bar. Twilight Hours, every day, after 9pm the Faces of Soho cocktails are only £7 each. The Brasserie also serves Monday to Saturday midday to 6.30pm a pre-theatre menu of starter and main for £16, or with dessert for £19. Compared to other restaurants in the area this is exceptional value for money.