Randall & Aubin, Soho
This seafood restaurant has been a hit on Brewer Street in Soho for over 20 years. Perched at a stall in the candlelit dining room, kitted out in pie ‘n’ mash shop white tiles, below a disco ball, tapping our feet to tune after absolute tune, it’s easy to see why. I haven’t had this much fun in a restaurant in ages.
The menu, 15 of which are framed all the way round the room, reads particularly well. We start with a mix of English, Irish and French rock oysters (£16). English are the best, naturally. Horseradish as an extra accompaniment is unusual but delicious.
Classic moules marinieres (£11.85) has a sauce so rich and indulgent I want to throw those mussel shells out and drink it straight from the bowl. The mussels are so plump and tender.
All the fish is of great quality. Half a pint of pink prawns (£7.75) are so delicate and fresh we eat the whole lot, shell and all. Half a roasted lobster (£22.25) sits in a puddle of garlic butter which is perfect for pommes frites-dunking.
Hand picked Devon crab (£12.85) is kept fresh with avocado and pickled cucumber. Seared Orkney scallops (£21.25) is a far richer affair. Those big buggers come with croutons draped with salty pancetta while sweet cauliflower puree keeps things balanced.
For pud, apple and blackberry crumble tart (£7) has all the comfort and intense sweetness you want from a good crumble. It’s just a little more refined. There’s plenty of custard, too.
Randall & Aubin seems to have mastered the blend of quality cooking/produce with good time vibes. It’s actually somewhere you want to go and eat. Here’s to the next 20 years, I look forward to becoming a regular.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant