Tried & Tested

Restaurant check: 100 Wardour Street, London

8 May 2016 by Michelle Harbi

BACKGROUND

Restaurant group D&D London opened 100 Wardour Street in Soho in January. Located on the former site of the legendary Marquee club – which hosted gigs by everyone from the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin to David Bowie, the Sex Pistols and U2 between the mid-sixties and the late eighties – it has more recently been the home of Floridita and Carom. It has now been relaunched as a bar, restaurant, club and live music venue.

D&D has been busy in the capital recently – as well as operating the likes of Coq d’Argent, Quaglino’s and the South Place hotel, it refurbished both the Le Pont de la Tour (reviewed here) and Sauterelle (reviewed here) last year, opened the German Gymnasium in King’s Cross last November (reviewed here) and relaunched Sartoria on Savile Row the following month (reviewed here).

THE VENUE

Set across two floors, 100 Wardour Street comprises an all-day bar and lounge on the ground level offering casual dining, and a restaurant and club downstairs that serves higher-end food until 2am and hosts live music and DJs five nights a week.

100 Wardour Street

Interiors are by Russell Sage Studio, which refurbished both Le Pont de la Tour and Sauterelle as well as designing restaurants such as Jason Atherton’s City Social and Gordon Ramsay’s the Savoy Grill and Pétrus. Here the studio has created a stylish, relaxed ambience using plenty of wood and colourful furniture to bring warmth to what are large spaces (150 covers upstairs and 250 downstairs).

Upstairs is built around a large circular bar towards the rear of the space, with a glass-blown light installation above it and music-inspired artworks on the walls. The downstairs layout is focused on the stage, with amber lighting casting a glow over the clubby leather seating. Book a table facing the stage to enjoy the live show later on.

100 Wardour Street

THE FOOD

Executive chef Liam Smith-Laing was previously head chef at La Petite Maison in Istanbul; he has also worked under Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing. Many of the dishes on his Mediterranean-inspired menus are cooked on an open robata grill and Josper oven.

The restaurant menu features a wide range of small plates served to the table when they are ready, plus mains, seafood platters and signature dishes for sharing such as Chateaubriand and suckling pig.

To start, we opted for a selection of small plates, taking many of the recommendations of our knowledgeable, passionate waiter. All were very good – the skewers of crispy pork belly with salsa verde (£4) were tender and succulent; the padron peppers (£4) smoky and nicely salted; the crisp sweetcorn salad with cucumber dashi dressing (£7) zingy and refreshing; and the tiger prawn tempura with yuzu mayonnaise (£8) light and plump.

100 Wardour Street

For my main, I had the whole Dover sole (£29.50) – a good piece of fish, if slightly overcooked, although I liked the sweet freshness of the accompanying shallots, grapes and tomatoes, and the side of Josper potato purée (£3.50) was excellent. My companion had the Basque sirloin (300g, £27), served with grilled mustard greens and charred shallots, which was flavoursome and well seasoned.

Our waiter kindly brought out a taster of a couple of wines for us to choose from – we went for the 2014 Pinot Noir, El Viejo del Valle, Casablanca Valley, Chile (£6 by the glass or £24 by the bottle), which was a light and versatile match for our range of dishes.

Thursday, when I visited, is blues, soul and reggae night. While we ate, the DJ played laidback tunes at a good volume for conversation, then just before 10pm eight-piece band Jenna and the Gs started their set – it was a pleasure to sit back and finish my glass of red to the sounds of their jazzy, funky songs, and there was a nice leisurely atmosphere in the room.

100 Wardour Street

VERDICT

A thoroughly enjoyable evening. Good food and service combined with impressive entertainment create a relaxed supper-club vibe downstairs. If you’re looking for a lively venue for entertaining clients, this could be well worth considering depending on what night you visit (perhaps not commercial house night on a Friday). Good for drinks with friends and late-night bites, too.

OPENING HOURS

Bar and lounge 11am-late Mon-Sat, restaurant and club 5pm-2am Tues-Wed, 5pm-3am Thurs-Sat.

PRICE

Restaurant small plates £4-£12, mains range from £16.50 for pasta to £75 for the Chateaubriand to share. Pre-theatre menu: two courses and a glass of champagne £25, three courses and a glass of champagne £30. Wine from £5.50 by the glass, from £19 by the bottle.

CONTACT

100 Wardour Street; tel +44 (0)20 7314 4000; 100wardourst.com

Michelle Harbi

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