In London we spend our lives clamouring to get a table at the newest, most on trend, quirky restaurant in town – well, those of them that take reservations that is. We are, and I know I’m not alone in thinking this, in danger of forgetting those fantastic restaurants that have been going for yonks, quietly serving up fantastic food, without charging extortionate prices in order to pay for their multi-million pound kitchens.
I have a few old favourite restaurants in London that I’ve been going to for years and years. And yes, some of them are old fashioned, serving up ginormous portions with lashings of cream and enough calories to keep a small army on the go for at least a week. But some of them aren’t dated or old fashioned; they just don’t HAVE to have the coolest chef, or the most expensive or innovative burger / smoker / BBQ (delete as applicable). One of these places is Prix Fixe on Dean Street, it’s been going forever – so I’m told. It takes reservations, which unusual in Soho these days and it serves really good, well executed, simple French grub.
I popped in for lunch with a friend last week and was reminded how good this place is. A carafe of Merlot, tap water and a bread basket arrived while we decided what to have from the extensive menu. None of this 3 or 4 options per course stuff. I started with asparagus, crispy pancetta, mozzarella and rocket salad which was good. That sort of a starter is always good. I wimped out of the dozen mussels which had been grilled in Pernod and garlic and butter – not the healthiest of starters but the chap I was lunching with seems to have hollow legs when it comes to food!
For my main I went with the lemon sole with caper and parsley butter and saffron potatoes which I changed because I am a heathen and wanted boring chips instead. It was perfectly cooked. I love lemon sole, its delicateness just, to me, makes it a much nicer fish, don’t know why, it just does. Anyway, it was a large portion for lunch, but I gallantly finished it off leaving only my chips.
We looked at the dessert menu and decided it was probably a little extravagant to have pudding for a weekday lunch.
The bill came to £48. We dined from the lunch set price, or ‘prix Fixe’ menu if you will. But both the sole and the steak had supplements on them. Michelin it ain’t. But who needs fine dining all the? Sometimes you just want somewhere you don’t have to worry about queuing for 45 mins before you get a table or somewhere you can be ‘normcore’ (a word I’ve learnt recently). But as a closing statement; we mustn’t neglect the restaurants that have been around for ages, yes the new places are cool and innovative but they aren’t always the last word when it comes to eating out in the Capital. I shall now get off my soapbox and get back to my diet!