20 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LG www.bokisevendials.com
Opened in August 2017, Boki blends the quality coffee industry experience with excellence in food and drink and a passion for design.
Between the bars of Soho and the shops of Covent Garden is the charming Seven Dials; despite ongoing road works (no area of London seems spared these days), it is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in town for a bit of shopping and a stroll.
On Earlham Street, new delicatessen Boki offers a welcome rest stop for a coffee or for an early evening glass of wine and a bite to eat.
Opened in August 2017, Boki blends the quality coffee industry experience with excellence in food and drink plus a passion for design. They offer a creative menu for breakfast, lunch and in the evenings, internationally-inspired small plates paired with a carefully created menu of cocktails, craft beer, wine and aperitifs.
Key influences throughout the menus are from owners Boris Becker’s international background in Asia and Kim Mahony-Hargreaves’ love of great produce from his upbringing in Herefordshire.
The name Boki comes of course from their first names. Before opening this permanent home, they did a long term trial run pop up in West London, and after its success, decided to look for a venue that would reflect their backgrounds too.
Kim for example used to work in the movie industry around the corner in Soho so the location chosen feels quite familiar to him. He told us that it took them a while not only to find the right spot, but also to shape as it is today.
The result is a striking venue, with the forefront area dedicated to the coffee shop counter, and behind at the far end, a stylish copper horseshoe bar under a skylight with high chairs and trestle tables; the two areas are separate but equally well integrated together.
We visited for their evening menu and a taste of their cocktails. Since coffee is the main focus around which both the food and the cocktails revolve, we had to try one of the coffee based cocktails; we opted for the Boki Negroni which is definitely a winner, its coffee aroma subtle and lingering.
The wine list features small producers from around the world and some interesting labels not found in your average supermarket, but they are not specific to any dish of the menu, rather they’re flexible enough to be a good pair for most of the choices available.
We picked a refreshing rosÃƒÂ© from Lebanon to go with our food, and chose a couple of dishes from the small plates menu as well as a couple of mains.
The Salt Beef Tacos with Asian slaw and Sriracha were very good, the acidity of the slaw balancing the deep beef flavour well and the spicy sauce not overpowering; the Chorizo toad in the hole with Harissa mayo a fun take on a British classic.
As for the mains, the Boki chicken was well cooked and crispy, with perhaps too much pearl barley; the Boki vegan bowl a filling and enjoyable ensemble of smoked tofu, avocado, quinoa, beetroot and edamame beans.
The brownie we tried for dessert was moist and rich, and it was served with vanilla ice cream from next door shop udderlicious.
We came back the next day in the afternoon for coffee and cakes; while the ones we ordered were not that memorable (the oat slice a little too rich, the walnut and courgette a little bland), the coffee, from well known Allpress, was exceptional.
Boki was packed with shoppers and families enjoying a Saturday afternoon break, and after only a few weeks from opening, it shows the good work is paying off.