Published on March 25th, 2015 | by Sophia Longhi1
Randall and Aubin, Soho
Summary: Sophisticated without being pompous and the unique Soho atmosphere makes the meal an entire experience
Randall and Aubin has been standing on its spot on Brewer Street, Soho, for the best part of twenty years – and the queue outside hasn’t yet seemed to dissipate. I came to hear of this former Edwardian butcher’s shop when I mentioned that I was after oysters and was recommended this place with such force and enthusiasm that I had to try it for myself.
The French-inspired menu wouldn’t be out of place in a classic Parisian brasserie; the restaurant has an interior to match, with white tiles and marble table-tops. But make no mistake; we are in Soho, and alongside the French chandeliers, there is a mirrored disco ball, funky music and a distinctively bustling Soho atmosphere, where the talk is loud and the tables are crammed.
We are recommended the English oysters with, of course, a glass of freshly-fizzing Champagne. They arrive majestically on a chrome seafood stand with a perfectly-dressed lemon quarter and shallot vinegar and Tabasco. Plump and wonderfully fresh, like the bracing British sea they were formed in, they taste divine. They are delicate, almost creamy in their richness, and go like a marriage made in heaven with the crisp champagne.
I could eat oysters here all day, but we try some other delights on the menu, which has been expertly overseen by Head Chef Ed Baines. The handpicked Devon Crab comes highly recommended from several of the friendly and knowledgeable wait staff, and it is lovely scooped onto the toasted brioche with the avocado and salsa. We also try the Asian-inspired Tuna Carpaccio, served with crudités, sesame and soy. The thinly-sliced tuna melts in the mouth and it is coated just lightly enough in the sweet and salty soy.
For mains, we order the Crispy Lemon Sole, served with mustard dressed beans, pommes sauté and mint sauce, and the Bouillabaisse, with mixed West Country fish, spiced croutons and aioli. The Lemon Sole, one of the firm favourites on the menu, is a masterpiece to look at, with two generous pieces of breadcrumbed fish balanced precariously on a bed of potatoes and beans. Everything on the plate is completely delicious and the fish itself is expertly prepared, moist and flakey. The Bouillabaisse – creamy, spicy and bursting with flavour – showcases the excellent fish in a way that excites the palate. It was a sad moment indeed when we got to the bottom of the bowl.
Randall and Aubin is the place to go for incredible seafood. It is sophisticated without being pompous and the unique Soho atmosphere makes the meal an entire experience. The staff are fantastic and display a real pleasure when talking about and serving the food – probably because they know it’s so good.
Randall and Aubin, 14- 16 Brewer Street, W1F 0SGShare This Post