Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

The Menu

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.

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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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.

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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.

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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.

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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.

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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.

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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...

Arbutus

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)

http://www.arbutusrestaurant.co.uk/

Vegetarian options: 1 entree and 1 main plus desserts

Arbutus restaurant, Soho, London

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Carbon Neutral water!