100 Wardour Restaurant And Club

by Nick Harman - Wednesday October 30, 2019 9:10 am

There aren’t many places to eat in Soho that can accurately mix elements of a night out with decent food, usually the food comes in a bad second place.

mcith_Screen%20Shot%202019-10-11%20at%20The musical duo on the small stage are veering from 10CC (‘I’m not in love’) and Neil Young (‘Old Man’) with various stops in between.

It’s all very different from when I used to hang around in this space in 1977/8.Then it was The Marquee Club and me and my Nikon would be pressed against the stage photographing so many punk bands I can’t even count them, and one memorable night, Tom Petty.

Then I’d spend all night developing the prints and off to the offices of Sounds and NME early the next morning to try and sell them

Of course, the whole of the old Marquee building has gone now and instead of scrappy-dressed youths queuing up to get in, there are now slick young professionals being vetted by bouncers.

mcith_Screen%20Shot%202019-10-11%20at%20The ground floor is a bar, and downstairs, via a grand entrance staircase, is 100 Wardour Restaurant & Club and the live music.

S and I head down there feeling vaguely underdressed, but the headset equipped and sexy staff don’t blink.We first hit the bar to try the cocktails, although we really are bottled beer kind of people.

It’s called the Politicians’ Cocktail menu - there’s a May On The Rocks, Pride (featuring a heavily made up Putin, you get the idea.

We have Le Roi, a drink with a lot of gin which we chase down with a bottle of beer each adopting the slightly sozzled approach to restaurant reviewing as championed in one weekend paper.

Now a bit buzzed from that we’re peering at the menu. It’s stylishly dark in 100 Wardour and so S has to discreetly get out his reading specs, hoping none of the beautiful people spot him.

Kim Woodward is Executive Chef, once the first female head chef of the Savoy Grill and the menu is short and sweet with nothing on it that I wouldn’t want to eat, except the steaks.

mcith_seabass%2C%20jalapeno%2C%20lime%2CNothing wrong with steaks, and they have a Josper grill here so they will be done well, but I want something more interesting.So for a starter I ceviched it, sea bass cooked in lime juice with jalapeno, avocado and mango.

A little bit over-acidified from the juice, and a bit more jalapeno would have been effective, but still a very good and fresh-tasting dish that got the palate dancing even while we remained seated.

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S went for veal with raw tuna, gherkin and a quail’s egg. I suppose the dish was closest in connection to a veal tonnato, an Italian dish that’s peculiar when you think about it, but always delicious.

He found the gherkin’s vinegary crunch to be a smart idea, as was the soft, slightly molten, quail’s egg. In fact, we decided it was actually a cross between veal tonnato and tuna Nicoise. A very Remainer dish you could say.

Both starters were very much in tune with 100’s atmosphere; quietly international, a bit bling, a lot of men who wear pointy shoes, reasonably expensive, but overall elegant and tasteful.

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Mains didn’t disappoint, again a wide spectrum of styles. I mean my pappardelle with ragu had salty kale crisps on top, which were surprising and yet surprisingly effective. The ragu was just as it should be, a rich flavouring to the pasta and not a sloppy topping

Cod on ratte potatoes boasted a properly crispy skin and juices that had cheerfully mingled with the spuds to make a glorious combo. S wolfed that one down.

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Spinach and capers gave a good firm contrast, the capers jumping out with their little spurts of vinegar and the supporting tang of spinach under it all.

By now the house beat combo, who rather reminded me of Raw Sex the duo that used to appear on French and Saunders, had reached a volume that made conversation difficult.

So, we mimed our satisfaction with our dishes to each other. Waving cutlery at plates and making thumbs up signs. It really was the kind of food that makes you feel happy.

S went for a plate of cheese to end, so no review of that except to say it looked generous and had decent variety.

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I had a panna cotta lemon, lavender and fresh blackberries, elegantly unusual in its glass and wonderfully delicate too.

The place was heaving by now, the velvet rope straining to hold back the drinkers out of our more refined area. We felt it was time to go so we weaved a little unsteadily back up the stairs.

There aren’t many places to eat in Soho that can accurately mix elements of a night out with decent food, usually the food comes in a bad second place.

100 Wardour Restaurant & Club has definitely cracked it though, very decent food in a lively atmosphere that made me feel young again.

Not as young as I was in 1977, of course, but you can’t have everything. Hey ho, let’s go!

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