When we visit London, one must-see part of the city is Soho. Close to both the theatre district and Oxford Street, it is a place where there are plenty of things to see, to do and of course, to eat. During our recent visit, we had tried numerous places in London. We have recorded some of them in our two earlier posts on restaurants near Tate Modern and restaurants in Notting Hill. This is our final post on our London visit and it is about two restaurants in Soho. We hope this will help you decide what to eat in London.
Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant
Our first stop was Chinatown where one can have a tough time deciding on what and where to eat as there are so many restaurants to choose from. We picked the one that seemed most popular and had a queue just before opening time – the Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant.
The restaurant was quite pleasantly decorated, a bit cramped but bright and neat. The decor is quite modern but still distinctly typical Chinese style. In fact, this style of the restaurants is now becoming extinct in Singapore and you see them more in overseas Chinatowns. We were tempted by the roasted meats hanging in the display and so ordered some char siew which is sometimes referred to here as honey pork (£8.5), half a de-boned roasted duck (£12.5) and some fried kai lan (£8.5).
When the food arrived, we realised we had severely over-ordered. The portions were huge. Although there were only two of us that day, this could easily have been lunch for four. With the benefit of hindsight, we should just have ordered the individual meat and rice combinations. The meats were great. Some parts of the pork was charred, lending a nice burnt taste to it. The duck was well cooked and moist. One thing to note is that the duck is smothered by a soy sauce based gravy which, while delicious, soaks into and softens the skin. So if you are looking for roasted duck which has crispy skin, this is not the place. Apart from roast meats, the restaurant also has a comprehensive menu that contains many kinds of Chinese food. Rice and Chinese tea costs (£2.5) and (£1) per person.
Vinoteca Wine Bar
Roaming the streets of Soho we stopped by this attractive looking restaurant to have a drink. Once inside Vinoteca, we received the warmest welcome and service that we experienced during this entire trip. The staff was really friendly and genuine. It is predominantly a wine bar but also serves some food. The wine list here is as comprehensive as you would expect a place with the name Vinoteca to be. What made it more interesting was the range of wines available by the glass and their tasting combinations. We opted for a three glass combination at £6.95 per flight. We also ordered a seafood broth (£9) and some bread (£2) to go with the wine.
The wines came with short descriptive notes and tasted much better than their price suggests. The seafood broth (containing cuttlefish, mussels, butter beans and chorizo) however was the stunner. Robust and full of flavour, we thought this dish could rival items from much more illustrious eating places. The chef is clearly very talented. Regrettably we did not have a chance to return to have a full meal here. It is clearly a must-visit restaurant when we are next in London.
53-55 Beak Street
Tel 020 3544 7411