63-64 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 3JW
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Foodies, Mature travellers, Singles, Relaxation
Expert review of Arbutus
One of my favourite affordable treats - stick to the set lunch or pre-theatre menus and you’ll eat top-quality nosh at very reasonable prices. Arbutus is a civilized but relaxed setting for delicious, uncomplicated food. There’s a central counter if you’re dining alone or haven’t booked ahead.
Chef Anthony Demetre’s cooking is sufficiently high-quality to have caught the Michelin inspectors’ attention soon after opening, but there’s little flim-flam. The menu changes with the seasons, with dishes - roast rabbit, eel, beef bavette, squid and mackerel ‘burger’, cod brandade - usually solid, full-flavoured and presented with great care. Perhaps they could do with losing a mini serving saucepan or two, but you wouldn't think it a fussy place. The wine list is the envy of many restaurateurs and kind to customers: all the wines are available in 250ml carafes - for those moments when a glass ain’t enough, but a bottle would be a step too far, and to make changing wines with each course a doddle.
Smart, but relaxed. There’s usually a happy mix of business suits, fashionably dressed-down media types and parents being shown a good time by their discerning offspring in the stylishly plain dining rooms.
Crisp, helpful and well-drilled.
Just off the main people-watching drag of Soho, handy for most of the West End shows and shops.
The set lunch (three courses at £16.95) and pre- and post-theatre set dinner (three courses at £18.95; not available Sunday) are superb value. A la carte prices are still fair, but stiff by comparison - three courses will cost around £30. Having the wine available in 250ml carafes (as well as by the glass and bottle) helps keeps prices down.
There are a couple of street-side window tables. If you're on your own, eat at the counter to spare you that empty chair opposite.
More information on Arbutus:
- Price guide:
- French, Modern
- 63-64 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 3JW
- 020 7734 4545
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 5-11pm; Sun noon-3pm, 5.30-10pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards: