I love a trip to London. If I get the good train it’s less than an hour and it’s a great excuse to see some friends who live in the big city. I always try to go somewhere I haven’t been before rather than returning to somewhere I’ve already tried. There’s always something new going on! My most recent trip up was organised to make the most of a restaurant offer from Bookatable. I didn’t actually know until I investigated that there are all sorts of deals available through Bookatable and the one at Michelin starred Arbutus in Soho sounded too good to pass up! I couldn’t wait to go there and get stuck in.
I really liked the restaurant, it was one of those places where you’re actually quite close (but not so close that your elbows touch) to the other people in the restaurant but somehow you can’t hear anyone else’s conversation. The staff were excellent; they all knew exactly what was going on at which table and were really fluid.
We started with the cocktail: elderflower, mint, St Germain and Prosecco. It was called A Touch of Spring and it lived up to its name; this was pretty much all of my favourite things in one glass. We also enjoyed some bread and butter while we waited for the starters to arrive.
I started with the Lincolnshire smoked eel, slow cooked egg, wild garlic and dandelion. This was the first time I had tried eel and it was really nice; I’ll certainly be trying it again. The eel was quite strong in smoky flavour but with the bitter dandelion and faint wild garlic it worked really well. The slow cooked egg had a great texture and brought everything together so nicely. My friend tried the salad of fresh peas, broad beans, Moroccan lemon and goat’s curd. It was a really pretty plate of food which she said was delicious. We did both think however that it was a bit of a shame they didn’t peel the broad beans.
For our main, we both had the same thing: short rib of beef, marinated beetroots, tropea onion and potato foam. This was divine; the beef was meltingly tender and was so good with the onions, peppers and mushrooms. I didn’t actually notice any marinated beetroot on the plate, I assume it was replaced with the mushrooms as they had a lightly pickled flavour but it was all so good I didn’t even notice! The potato foam was actually quite thick so you did feel like you were actually eating something other than bubbles. In terms of beef dishes, I think this will be a hard one to beat!
The wine list at Arbutus is an impressive one; everything can be ordered by the bottle or 250ml carafe. I was after just a small glass to go with my main which was no bother for them. I am a big fan of German wine so I went for a glass of Spatburgunder which was rich enough not to be overpowered but acidic enough to cut through the food. An excellent choice if I do say so myself.
I love rose flavoured things and I also love cheesecake so my pudding was an easy choice: rose water scented cheesecake, Yorkshire rhubarb and fraises des bois. What a joy; the cheesecake was just my kind of right, light textured and plenty of biscuit. The sharp rhubarb in the sorbet and the sauce cut through the cheesecake perfectly and if ever there are fraises des bois around I go weak at the knees so I thought this was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. My other choice, which luckily my friend ordered, was Arbutus honey ice cream, warm madeline and honeycomb which was rather pretty and a lovely light way to end the meal.
The meal we had at Arbutus was £39 for three courses including the cocktail. If you want to see a bit more about the restaurant or the deal you can find out more on Arbutus on Bookatable. I really enjoyed the food, the location and the overall experience. Having said that I try to seek out new places when I go to London, if I ended up going here again I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed.
I was reimbursed for the cost of the meal by Bookatable. All opinions and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.
This restaurant has since closed.