Randall & Aubin in Soho
In a food scene as fickle and cut-throat as London’s, it seems a rarity to come across a restaurant that lasts longer than a few years. In culinary hubs like Soho it is especially rare where many of the streets are dedicated to the latest food trend: food trucks, Vietnamese, American-style diners, the list goes on. Randall & Aubin, however, are part of a small phenomenon of stalwart restaurants that have stood the test of time, celebrating over ten years of business. Originally a butcher, the place has kept an old-world charm all the while spicing things up with a disco ball. If walls could speak, Randall & Aubin’s would surely have a few stories to tell.
The menu, mainly seafood-focused, is timeless and extensive. Be sure not to miss out the breadbasket, which features house baked breads and a mousse-like anchovy paste. To start, the Tuna Carpaccio with Crudités, Sesame and Soy comprised of an exquisitely fresh piece of fish on top of crisp red pepper, enoki mushrooms and finely sliced cabbage. Texturally the dish was a treat, however the dressing used was a little on the sweet side needed slightly more acidity. My guest enjoyed the New England Clam Chowder with Fresh Corn Bread, which was richly flavoured and packed with clams. The corn bread made a delicious accompaniment and had clearly been baked not long before serving.
On to mains and the Deep Fried Lobster Roll with Pommes Frites, off the specials board, was a hedonist’s delight, with crunchy pieces of delicate lobster laden with coleslaw sandwiched between a brioche roll alongside French fries to mop up the juice. The Char-grilled Cornish Squid with Chilli Sauce, Lemon-Dressed Rocket and Pommes Frites didn’t disappoint either. The squid was perfectly cooked and complemented surprisingly well by the chilli sauce, which on the whole made for a lovely, light dish.
Saving all best things for last, the desserts were not to be missed. The Vanilla Crème Brulée was possibly one of the best ever made,with an unbelievably creamy texture beneath the caramelised crack of sugar, while the Baked Cheesecake with Sultanas and Double Cream was airy and smooth, with a delicate and crunchy base.
Randall & Aubin is a very special little place; the staff are attentive and friendly and contribute to the buzzy overall vibe. Even if you’re only after a glass of something bubbly and a few oysters, be sure to get to the window seats looking onto Brewer street and discover the perfect way to while away an afternoon.
Photos: Rob Brazier
Randall & Aubin: 51/60
To book a table at Randall & Aubin, 14-16 Brewer Street, London W1F 0SG, call +44 (0) 207 278 4447 or for further information visit here.