Meeting people for dinner in London always seems to involve a significant amount of to-ing and fro-ing. With a lot of popular restaurants not accepting bookings, you have a short window by which to reach your destination if you don’t want to be queuing for hours outside (Dishoom, here’s looking at you). 100 Wardour St is central, convenient and – like a breath of fresh air – accepts bookings. No rushing for a table required.
There’s something quite grand and yet quite relaxed about 100 Wardour St. A great venue for big dos with plenty of elbow room. However, if you’re looking for more intimate post-work drinks, you may be rattling around in a vast space of emptiness for a while.
The miss-matched décor adds to the grandeur of each room with leather armchairs, plush sofas and large print rugs.
Upstairs the venue is bright and spacious with flowers hanging from the ceiling. When you descend the large spiral staircase, you’re met with a dimly lit room with a long bar to the left and tables positioned around the stage in anticipation of the night’s entertainment. It’s worth noting that the atmosphere doesn’t really kick in until later into the evening, so if you want the full experience, don’t clock out early. However, if it’s an intimate dinner with non-stop conversation, you may want to get there early, before the music starts.
We ended up sitting at the front of the stage and were privy to the live entertainment by way of young performers who left me impressed, engrossed and ignoring my dining partner at times.
100 Wardour St is the new all-rounder in Soho, with food, drinks and entertainment, there’ll be no need to bar crawl in search for a good night.
There aren’t many places that serve dinner until 2am, and with a slightly random and eclectic menu, it’s easily a ‘something-for-everyone’ kind of place.
With a basket of warm bread to tear at whilst perusing the menu, you’ll also see there is a satisfying drinks list with some noteworthy cocktails. Whether you like to start or finish your night on a sweet note, I’d recommend the 100 cocktail: a silky smooth egg-white cocktail with Amaretto, fig and lemon juice.
The small plates are definitely worth sampling, the tender pork belly dressed in a palate-pleasing salsa verde is a winner – cut up beforehand so you don’t have to battle with it at the table (£5). Baby octopus skewers (£5), chicken skewers (£4) and softshell crab are all simple crowd pleasers, the crab breaded on a bed of guacamole (£10). The salmon Ceviche (£8.50) and barbecued Italian aubergine (£7.50) were both memorable starters, fresh and light summer options – though I would dodge the tough calamari.
The mains consisted of tender roast duck, pink to perfection presented nicely with a cabbage and sausage stack (£19). The grilled tiger prawns (£26) showered in flaked almonds and cooked to perfection: a dish well worth getting your hands dirty for.
What was pleasantly surprising was how everything was light and fresh. Filling, but not overly heavy dishes which meant more room for wine and cocktails: priorities.
The wine list provides just enough options at affordable prices. The service is a credit to the restaurant. Very attentive, friendly staff all too willing to offer up some suggestions.
100 Wardour St has big shoes to fill, replacing the Marquee Club, which played host to names such as the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. Baby steps though, a good reputation takes a while to build and they’re certainly on the right path.
100 Wardour St, 100 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 0TN
Tel: +44 (0)20 7314 4000
The restaurant is located in London’s vibrant Soho with the closest Tube Stations being Oxford Circus on the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines or Tottenham Court Road on the Central and Northern lines.
Type of Restaurant: Restaurant, Bar and Club serving Modern European Cuisine
“You can enjoy a bit of everything at 100 Wardour St, Soho’s new all-rounder.”
Price Band: Medium to High
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10
Kelly Greene is a freelance travel writer based in East London, writing for Good Housekeeping and presenting for East London Radio
Photo credits: Paul Winch-Furness and Justine Trickett for 100 Wardour St