It's been several months since our trip to Europe and yet I'm still feeding you stories of our travels in London. I apologise Dear Reader, I still have some stories on our 2 day stopover in Tokyo on the way back. Arbutus is a 1 starred Michelin restaurant in London, named after the Arbutus tree (another name for strawberry tree) that grows in nearby Soho Square.
Tonight, we're given the menu and we choose quickly as we need to leave early to make the Jack the Ripper tour. I order from the Pre theatre menu (3 courses for £17.50) and my dining companion isn't very hungry so she orders a la carte. We let our waitress know, she's lovely as is most of the other staff. They even apologise for it being so empty which they needn't do. And as requested, my entree arrives quickly.
Pork porchetta with granny smith apple puree (pre-theatre menu)
The pork porchetta is absolutely lovely and soft and very thinly sliced, like the softest, thinnest, tenderest meat you could dream up.
Elwy valley lamb breast and sweetbreads, fresh borlotti beans and sweet peppers £16.95
The Elwy valley lamb breast and sweetbreads is lovely, the lamb tender and fall apart soft almost like a confit of lamb. The sweetbreads are pan fried and a little firmer than the soft ones at the Blue Print cafe which I preferred _slightly _more.
Smoked duck, girolle risotto (pre-theatre menu)
The risotto with duck is good although oddly, some random grains of rice are a little on the hard side (arrrgh a pet hate of mine). The duck in the centre is gorgeous and tender though.
Cheesecake ice cream, English strawberries (pre theatre menu)
The cheesecake ice cream with strawberries is simple but quite good, the cheesecake strong with sour cream rather than creamy cream cheese which gives it a tangy flavour and a slightly more icey hard consistency.
Warm doughnuts (Loukoumades) , Aegina pistachios, wild honey and lemon thyme ice cream £6.95
The warm doughnuts are drenched in honey, a little too drenched and dry inside. I try a little but I can't take the sugar. It's as sweet as if a baklava was drenched in honey twice. The Lemon thyme ice cream helps temper the sweetness though.
We've got half an hour to spare thanks to the quick service. One less than cheery staff member takes my card and swipes it and then with disdain again sets it on the table in a pointed matter. "Sign" he says grunting. Thank god you have the chef and the rest of the staff.
And as for the Jack the Ripper tour, it started off well but then petered off into a "and then I'll leave you guys here" to much of our disappointment. Another tour group went right up to the locations but we had to stay at a distance (I suppose territories!). However I leave you with a picture of the pseudo anonymous graffiti artist Banksy's portrait of Jack the Ripper which now sports red eyes. Probably the scariest thing on the tour...
63-64 Frith Street London W1D 3JW
Tel: (020) 7734-4545
Open: Monday-Saturday 12:00-14:30 (lunch) & 17:00-19:00 (pre theatre) & 19:00-22:30 (dinner)
Sun 12:30-15:30 (lunch) & 17:30-19:00 (pre theatre) & 17:30-21:30 (dinner)
Vegetarian options: 1 entree and 1 main plus desserts
Carbon Neutral water!