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Monday 12 August 2013

Soho Diner

I first blogged about the Soho Diner a few weeks ago as a newly opened restaurant on my 'to try' list. With the backing of the Soho House group and prime location in bustling Soho, it appeared to already be streets ahead of its competitors. 
One Wednesday evening I decided to give it a go for after work nibbles and drinks. 
As soon as you walk in you're hit by how dark the space is, it might not have been helped by the blissfully sunny evening outside, however it definitely had a dingy feel to it. There's a large bar in the middle which is brightly lit and gives a modern social feel, however surrounding that are heavy wooden booths, black and white chequered floors and dark ceilings. On a cold winters day this could be cosy however I found it tricky to read my menu and near impossible to get any decent photos for this post...a blogger's nightmare!!! 

Moaning aside, the space is large avoiding excessive queues and the staff were very friendly and attentive. We opted for a bottle of wine and a few dishes from the menu to share so we could try as much as possible!
First up Prawn Chili Cocktail served with avocado, I always get slightly scared that prawn cocktail will come with baby shrimps which I hate but Soho Diner used large meaty king prawn so points were immediately scored there. On the down side there wasn't a whole lot of flavour especially in terms of chili, this isn't a dish that knocks your socks off, but saying that we did finish the whole plate! 

Next up we opted for the honey sesame chicken. Before our visit, I'd heard rave reviews about this one, so the bar had been set high... luckily, it totally met expectations and was delicious! Bursting full of smokey, spiced flavours all topped off with a fresh coriander bite and true to its name - super sticky! A definite must if you make a visit!   
Finally we ordered some fries and aioli and the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich - the clear winner of the evening! Traditional diner food but less grease and more quality...a brioche roll, packed full of steak, sweet peppers, cheese and jalapeƱo peppers.  A true example of 'a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips' but too good to even care -  my friend and I were literally fighting for the last mouthful!

With all the hype surrounding the launch and the gushing reviews I'd read before visiting, I left feeling a little deflated. I think being slightly over the dominating trend of luxe fast food joints that seems to be popping up every week didn't help. The food was tasty and the location easy, I would definitely go back when in search of quick food before or after a night out, however on our visit it was slightly lacking atmosphere and definitely not somewhere I would while away the evening drinking at the bar as others have reviewed. 

Soho Diner

19-21 Old Compton Street

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