10 GREEK ST Soho
10 Greek Street, W1D 4DH
020 7734 4677
Modern European, eclectic, seasonal, neighbourhood and informal. Those words promise so much, but to deliver the formula successfully takes a clarity of vision and sense of integrity too often lacking from restaurants that use them as buzzwords. However two recently opened Soho joints have managed to join those dots together. In Dean St DUCKSOUP opened in a flurry of new media hype; cramped, noisy and with a byov (bring your own vinyl) policy it
wowed the hip young Soho crowd as well as the critics. A few weeks later chef Cameron Emirali (The Wapping Project) and his partner Luke Wilson opened up 10 Greek St. The restaurant shares DUCKSOUP‘s no evening booking policy and the ubiquitous white tiling shared by most of the recent new Soho openings but is marginally more sedate though in no way lacking in energy which radiates out from the open kitchen. You can sit at one of nine spaces at the kitchen counter or try to nab one of the tables-the restaurant only has 29 regular seats so it’s often necessary to go into the next door pub whilst waiting for your berth.
The Kitchen Counter at 10 Greek St
The Hedonist has been in a couple of times, for an impromptu solo supper at the kitchen counter and for a lunch date. Both times I was impressed by the honesty and vitality of the food offer. The menu changes daily and the evening no booking policy helps keep the prices down. The wine list is short but features an interesting list sensibly priced by the glass, carafe and bottle.
Sea Bass Carpaccio with Padron Peppers and Duck Egg
For starters (£5-£8) we had a Sea Bass Carpaccio and Ricotta Stuffed Courgette Flowers with Lentils and Radish.
Ricotta Stuffed Courgette Flowers with Lentils and Radish.
The padron peppers combined with the chili slices made the carpaccio a more gutsy dish than normal with the creaminess of the egg offering a gentle counterpoint to the heat and the zinginess of the fish. The courgette flowers were pronounced delicious by my dining companion with a light tempura batter framing the ricotta which contrasted well with the earthiness of the lentils.
Sole with Samphire and Shrimp
Mains (£12-£20) generally revolve around fairly hefty lumps of protein with a few bits of green or garnish. The pan-fried sole was sweet and delicious and was attended by succulent little shrimp with samphire offering a salty dose of iron.
Sea Trout with Courgettes and Olive Tapenade
Sea Trout with Courgettes and Olive Tapenade brought a taste of Provence to a summer’s lunch. We decided that we wanted gelati for dessert so headed off to Gelupo in Archer St but desserts (£4-£6) looked pretty reliable and if my memory serves the salt caramel ice cream I had on a previous visit was delicious.
Arbutus in Frith St set the template for the new Soho eating. DUCKSOUP and 10 Greek St are it’s funky offspring with Jeremy Lee’s Quo Vadis being the posh rakish uncle. Robust flavours, eclectic wine and food menus served with a informal attitude are the hallmarks of this new breed of restaurants. If the economics of it work out, this new breed of chef/patrons are setting out a model that will be replicated across the country as happened with the Gastropub and that will be commodified by larger operators. Let’s see if it happens.