Tuesday, November 24, 2015

REVIEW: 10 Greek Street (Soho)

Just on the fringes of Soho, a thriving hub of nightlife on all evenings on the week but in particular Fridays, is 10 Greek Street. It’s one of these curious restaurants that seems to be making a renaissance in London which neither has a fixed menu (instead, the food itinerary changes on a day-to-day basis depending on the whim of the chefs), nor takes bookings. Whilst I’m fine with the former – it’s good to keep things fresh and allow cooks their free rein, I’m much less fond of the latter. I can understand why not taking reservations works from a point of view of revenue for the restaurant, as it avoids annoying punters who flake out, I like to plan my evenings in advance and am genuinely a bit thrown when you have to go away for an unforeseeable amount of time until a table becomes free, especially as, in order to stay within proximity of the restaurant, you choices of drinking holes are basically restricted to a bunch of over-priced Soho places which charge for the pleasure of being in the location rather than the quality of the drinks they’re serving.

As for the food, the menu that day (chalked up on the wall in handwriting that could stand to be more legible) featured a dainty seafood thing which I ordered. It was well-presented and appetising to eat, but for £9, there really wasn’t anywhere near enough of it and I consumed the whole dish within three bites (admittedly, I was hungry from the enforced trip to a nearby bar that this restaurant’s no booking policy forced me to endure… see how it works? Don’t allow us to take bookings, suffer the brunt of this critic’s foul mood). The minute quantity of the starter filled me with trepidation for the main course…

…And perhaps this had been a calculated move on the part of the chefs, in a wacky ‘expectation management’ move, because the main met my expectation of what a good restaurant should offer and then some. We ordered the duck dish to share, and I think you’ll agree from the photo, that the quantity was very generous:

As for the taste, wowzers. The sauce was a brilliant type of gravy that I haven’t tasted before, and the potatos were delicious (and there was a perfect amount of them, not too much, not too little). Even the greens tasted good, and you could tell they had been cooked, as opposed to just stuck on the side as a way of token healthiness. Overall, it was a treat and one of the best mains I’ve had in a restaurant in 2015. Which I was not expecting at all given the lah-dee-dah nature of the place when I first walked in.

So, the restaurant began in a deficit with me for the pretentious ‘no booking’ rule, but by the time I had finished their delicious duck meal, I realised it was worth the wait. The starters are extremely overpriced but the main was damn near culinary perfection, so I’ll be kind with my score.

Grade: B+

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