...Arbutus (London)

Overall - 9/10
Food - 9/10
Service - 9/10
Ambiance - 9/10

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Every so often you come across a restaurant that seems to hit the mark in every area that matters whether it be a satisfying menu, a relaxed atmosphere or amazing value. These are the restaurants that you may find yourself going back to again and again. If we lived in London this would definitely be one of those places. Located in Soho, it is steps away from many of the big theatres and has a delicious and value packed three course pre theatre menu priced at £20.95.

Our starters included a thinly sliced porchetta topped with what tasted like gratinĂ©ed parmesan and a house made terrine of pork served alongside toasted bread and a raisin compote. Being used to porchetta served in thick slices or shredded into sandwiches we were at first a bit skeptical whether these thin slices of pork would pack any punch. Thankfully our skepticism was unfounded; the pork when sliced so thinly melted in our mouths and coated each taste bud. The Terrine had the perfect smooth and creamy texture and spread easily over the warm bread.

For our mains we settled on the two non vegetarian options of braised scottish beef over tagliatelle and slow cooked pork belly with lentils and parsley. The tender beef was smothered in a rich gravy that went great with the fresh pasta, while the pork belly tasted as if it might have been brined prior to braising helping it to retain its moisture and flavour after the long cooking time. 

We finished off our meal with the vanilla cheesecake and cheese plate. The cheesecake was much lighter than most we've had and even though it was not overly sweet, the tart rhubarb compote was a great accompaniment. The cheese plate that night featured a Waterloo cheese which was similar to a brie but with a much more pronounced flavour 

All in all, honest and delicious food coupled with great value makes for a restaurant that would make us consider moving to London just so we could call ourselves regulars here.


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