Monthly Archives: July 2010

Soho Joe – great for lunch


A couple of weeks ago, I was traipsing along Dean Street unsure of what I was going to have for lunch that day.  I had been to Papaya rather too regularly, so I was on the hunt for something else.  This was when I discovered Soho Joe.

Thrilled to see somewhere new opening that very day, I stepped-in through the welcoming, wide open glass doors and was greeted by friendly, helpful and smiley staff- eager to please their first customers.

Presented with an open fridge plentifully adorned with a neat selection of freshly made salads and baguettes, all at a reasonable price, and spotting a pizza oven at the back of the restaurant, I knew immediately I was going to like this place!

I have since been back a number of times and have tried the salads, baguettes and pizzas and I’m yet to be disappointed.  I was particularly impressed by the light, thin crusted pizzas, and at only £6.00 I will have to be seriously strong willed not to have them more than once a week.  Last time I went, I had the four cheeses pizza, and asked for rocket on top.  It was delicious, just as I like it, heaped with masses and masses of cheese.

The baguettes and salads are perfect for eating at your desk, I tend to like a mix of the chorizo and butter bean, chickpea, and Greek salads which they place on a bed of lettuce (thankfully not iceberg), and serve with a hunk of fresh bread.

If you have ever been to pizza@home on the Old Brompton Road, you might not only recognize the great quality, reasonably priced pizzas, but also the owner Brian.  He sold pizza@home about 18 months ago and this is his fantastic new venture.

Soho Joe is exactly what the area needs, a non pretentious, reasonably priced cafe with excellent food and a relaxing atmosphere.  Highly recommended!

Salads and baguettes: £3.50-4.50

Pizzas: £6.00

Burgers and Chips £6.00 (£7.00 with cheese)

Pasta £6.00

22-25 Dean Street, London, W1D 3RY


Where NOT to get lunch in Soho: Crispnfresh


A few people in the office have been talking about how Crispnfresh on Wardour street is a great cheap place to get a salad at lunch, so I thought I would give it a go – Never again!

I have always been a bit of a food snob when it comes to pre-made salad bars, but I thought I would go in with an open mind this time and give it a go, especially as the company’s strap-line is ‘giving you a healthy lifestyle choice‘.  I was presented with about ten open boxes of ready made salad containing pale looking cherry tomatoes, chopped bits of peppers, anemic potato salad, some sort of mixed iceberg lettuce salad, tinned beetroot, chickpea and green olives, couscous and a mix of spinach and mushroom.

The deal is a choice of four salads for £3.50, so yes pretty cheap. I opted for beetroot, chickpea and olives, couscous and spinach and mushroom which they crammed into a clear plastic tub and sprinkled olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the top.

Once on a plate, it doesn’t look too bad – until you try and eat it – I got through about five forkfuls and decided to chuck it in the bin as I started to feel sick – cheap yes, but I now have to buy something else so what a waste of money!  How can I describe the food? Well I would say it tastes like something that has been breeding bacteria…soggy and tasteless chickpeas, dry and tasteless couscous, overly slimy and insipid mushrooms…the beetroot tasted like, well… tinned beetroot.

Definitely one to avoid.

Modern Italian restaurant & bar opens in Mayfair: Tempo


Tempo, a new contemporary restaurant and bar serving modern Italian food opens tomorrow (12th July) in Mayfair’s Curzon Street.

Under the driving force of entrepreneur Henry Togna and direction of experienced Japanese Executive chef Yoshi Yamada, the restaurant will serve the freshest, seasonal produce that is also ‘well sourced’.

The menu has been well thought out offering a neat selection of cicchetti, antipasti, sharing dishes, mains and lots of yummy treats for pudding.  The influence does not seem to be from one specific region of Italy but from across the entire country, adding a modern twist to traditional dishes.

Crushed fresh peas, mint and pecorino bruscetta; fresh cornish crab tagliolini; quail salad with dandelion and pancetta; venison carpaccio; roasted lamb rump with fresh borlotti beans, anchovy, tomato and parsley are just some of the treats you can find.

The wine list is a small, eclectic selection of 65 wines, primarily featuring top small producers from Italy, as well as some exciting finds from elsewhere in the world.

The interior has been designed by Daniel Hopwood, whose work can be seen at The Berkeley Hotel, and both the bar and restaurant appear to have a contemporary yet not overtly ‘trendy’ feel, which is nice to see given that it is situated in the heart of Mayfair.

I am yet to visit, but with dishes to satisfy every pallet coupled with reasonable prices and a relaxed atmosphere, Tempo looks set to be a winner.

Tempo Restaurant: open from Monday to Saturday, for lunch and dinner.

Tempo Bar: open Monday to Saturday, all day from 10am to 11pm, for drinks and light meals.

54 Curzon Street

London W1J 8PG

020 7629 2742