Souli in Marylebone
Souli, a brand new independent café in Marylebone, is already a hit with the locals. A brisk walk from Oxford Street, it’s well worth a pit stop from West End shopping madness.
The concept of Souli is simple and well executed. The café serves locally sourced, high-quality gourmet dishes, prepared on site for takeaway breakfasts and lunches. The meat is local and marinated overnight, the bread is from the local artisan, and only the coffee is found further afield, from Italy.
Souli has a wide range of fresh juices, crafted sandwiches and appetising salads to choose from. The layout is ideally suited for takeaway lunches, with a few tables for those who wish to dine in. The place is stylish with modern, simple décor: high ceilings, teal-coloured walls, fresh loaves of bread displayed in the window, and art books elegantly lining the walls inside.
Beginning with a cappuccino for breakfast, I was promptly told that Souli was home to the “best coffee in the world”: the coffee beans of Sant’Eustachio il Caffè, a coffee shop in Rome, hidden just behind the Pantheon. The New York Times once wrote that if you ever wanted to learn how to make a great espresso, you should book a flight to Rome and head straight to Sant’Eustachio. Souli’s adoption of the coffee grounds demonstrates their dedication to sourcing high-quality produce. The coffee was a delight, not too bitter, and had a lovely creamy taste.
Next I tried one of the breakfast sandwiches. It was warming and comforting: a fried egg sandwich, with tomato puree – a classic greasy English breakfast favourite, with the bonus of tangy delicious tomato. Served on soft artisan bread, it tasted a lot more sophisticated.
Then the carrot, orange, and ginger juice. It was a delight to hear it being made straight after ordering – there’s nothing better than freshly blended juice. The juice was frothy, a bit bitter, but with a strong ginger after-kick. It seemed like the ideal morning reviver for anyone in need of a detox or a caffeine-free pick-me-up.
Souli is perfect for foodies on a work lunch break. There may be a wait between ordering and receiving your food, but this is all part of maintaining high-quality, homemade tasty food, and makes Souli a unique approach to takeaway café culture in central London today.
Photos: Rosie Yang (except the central one)
Food and drinks: 18/20
To book a table at Souli, 17 George Street, London W1U 3QL, call 020 7486 0483 or visit here.