Dean Street Townhouse & Dining Room // Soho // London

This stylish restaurant and bar has fast become a firm favourite with fashionable Londoners looking for an after work drink or late night dinner.  Given it’s popularly, you’ll certainly need to book, or you may end up caught-up in the noisy bar area, sandwiched between raucous media types.  The best place to eat is in the banquettes for larger groups, at the rear of the restaurant.

While the dining area has a lively buzz, it’s not intrusive.  The decor might make you thing you were in some Victorian coaching inn, set with smart silverware, linen and subtle lighting.  Burgundy leather and dark woodwork all add to the atmosphere.  You will come to realise that what Dean Street aims to do, is to do simple things well, and the results are delightful.

For starters, the lamb sweetbreads on an onion tart with a runny poached egg is lovely, but the surprising star is the smoked eel kedgeree.  Think perfectly cooked rice with a bit of bite, with a rich buttery sauce and then the delicate smoked eel coming through; hats off to that.

Again with mains, simple things well done.  The calves’ liver, bacon, caramelised onions and a rich tasty sauce.  Also, the slow-cooked ox cheek is right up to standard, off-set by some fantastically flavoured neeps.

Service is particularly thoughtful, with waiting staff keeping a close eye on the cellar to make sure that there is enough of your wine of choice to last you through your meal.  Serious attention to detail lacking in many Michelin restaurants, which often keep thinly-stocked cellars resulting in disappointment after you decimate their stock, one bottle in.

As the night goes on the noise levels will drop, which will help you relax into a tasty rhubarb cobbler, followed by a degistif.  By the end, you’ll be a very contented diner with your expectations exceeded by this classic British eatery.

Worth a note too are Dean Street’s bathrooms; a proper two-star standard.

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