Archive for the ‘London W1 (Soho)’ Category

Carlton Coffee House, Soho

March 23, 2013

Tripadvisor review here

Interior:Although the shiny tables and part-metal part-pine chairs give off a look of recent refurbishment, there’s a solid mediterranean sandwich bar feel to the Carlton. Theatre posters, a lovely servery display case and dark wooden fittings made me feel very comfortable. And the efficient and friendly proprietress helped too. I was a little surprised to go through the door to the toilets to find myself in the open air, but that’s what you get with historic Soho buildings and it wasn’t actually snowing at the time. And was all spotless.

Food:Nothing special going on here: egg and beans perfectly okay, bacon a little salty for my taste (but generous portion of back bacon), mushrooms horrible slimy tinned things and the toast the usual weirdly foldable triangles. However, the tea was extremely nice.

At £5.90 including the tea it was about what I expected for the area. However, I realised as soon as I’d finished that I shouldn’t have ordered the breakfast, as poached egg on toast would have sufficed and I really would have preferred tomato to beans or mushrooms. I was suckered in by the fact that egg and tomato on toast would have cost almost as much as the breakfast. No wonder there’s an obesity problem.


Soho Brasserie, Greek street

January 7, 2012

First visited: Sunday 1st January 2011

Interior: Soho Brasserie doesn’t look like a caff. It looks like a neighbourhood Turkish or Italian restaurant, with wooden tables, tiled floor, plants and a mirrored bar reflecting back bottles of spirits in a very un-cafflike way. However, it assuredly was one, offering cuppas and breakfasts as well as an evening menu. And at 3pm on a ridiculously rainy new years’ day, frankly, anything that would sell me tea was welcome. And in fact the waitress, working on her own, was very friendly (even when the owner came in and berated her for the wet floor – what did he expected when every customer in there had wet coats and umbrellas?).

Food: I had scrambled egg on toast which was okay. Nothing worse, nothing better. The scrambled egg was on the dry side for my taste, but I know this isn’t everyone’s and it was certainly made in a pan not a microwave. The toast was cotton wool white bread but was fine under the circumstances. Tea was in a pot with a cup (I’d have expected nothing else given the decor) and was fine, much as I’d have preferred a mug and a teabag. Together they came to less than a fiver, which wouldn’t be much of a boast in many places, but on Greek st, came as a relief.

All in all, there’s nothing special about the Soho Brasserie, but if you need some comfort on a grim wintry day in Soho, you could do (much) worse.

Bad Cafe: Pompidou Coffee Shop, Dean Street

July 15, 2008

Truly appalling food and service in otherwise attractive surroundings

Visited Tuesday 15th July 2008

Interior: A very nice, unpretentious, traditional feel to this place, wooden tables and chairs, pictures and plants made it a really genuinely enticing prospect.

Food: Horrendous. After a somewhat taxing conversation with the waitress, who really didn’t speak English (I have many synonyms, but it was hard to find one she understood), I was under the impression I’d ordered a panino on toasted brown bread with mozzarella and peppers but instead I was served stale (and possibly mouldy) toast, which I had to spit out, containing an unmelted fragment (pre-sliced) of unidentifiable and tasteless cheese and a tiny sprinkling of raw chopped green pepper. Even the tea had that metallic taste that sometimes occurs when the water is obtained from coffee machines which need a clean. I was charged 4.65 for this, of which I paid 3 pounds.

I did feel sorry for the waitress as she was clearly too intimidated to call someone with better English or let me speak to the kitchen myself, which in itself speaks of bad management, and it didn’t help that I was ordering off menu. But really, it takes a lot for me not to be able to finish something when I have the munchies, never mind actually spit it out into my napkin.