Soho Diner W1
REVIEWS, December 31, 2013
Overall Value
3
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
3
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience
Soho Diner, Soho House, 19 Old Compton St, London, W1D 5JJ

On a prime site for Soho people-watching (the former Boheme Kitchen & Bar, RIP), a bar/diner in inevitable Brooklyn style, offering decent bites and drink, rather swiftly.

As a money-making machine, you have to admire this Soho newcomer – the former Boheme Kitchen & Bar site, given the full Brooklyn-Distressed look, and turned into an American bar/diner.

It is touted as a classic diner, but America is, surely, the land of redundant choice, and here choice has been stripped right back. The menu is more a ‘bar’ menu than a ‘restaurant’ one – the sort of fare you can quickly serve at any time, with minimal preparation.

The food, though, turns out not to be bad at all. Our seafood salad was very good, and the hot dog and brownies perfectly respectable. Similarly booze: the Mojito was excellent.

But back to the money-making. Everything here comes staggeringly quickly, and plates and glasses are whisked away, almost impertinently, as soon as their purpose is done. Perhaps it’s in homage to the Land of Service’ or perhaps it’s just about keeping the throughput up.

We are, after all, occupying a prime position, which – from many tables, especially when the front of the restaurant is open – offers a ringside seat on the all-hours ‘passeggiata’ which is Old Compton Street nowadays. So – in spite of the obviousness of the money-extraction process – we left feeling that the concept worked, somehow.

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