This restaurant in a brand new theatre puts on a very good show, so don’t wait until going to see a play to take part.

All theatres should have their own restaurants. It’s a strange fact that when you have the pre-theatre menu in a stand alone restaurant, the waiters always disappear just when you want your bill and with the clock ticking towards ‘show time’.

Or maybe that’s just a false perception, in the same way that trains always seem slower when you’re running late.

Anyway, we can all agree that a theatre restaurant is a good idea, so it’s curtain up on Stars, the restaurant of brand new Soho Place, itself the first new build theatre in Soho for over fifty years.

It’s a modern space of course, set in the centre of the building and with a double or possibly triple height ceiling above that’s like looking up into a theatre’s fly loft backstage. Wall mounted projectors create ever shifting dynamic scenes, which in turn creates a pleasant lighting mood on the tables and their rich red chairs.

The acoustics here are nicely muted, no crashing cutlery, no loud conversations, no chair scraping and these are all good things. Also good is Head Chef Constantin Apostu who used to be at The Standard Hotel, which was always a cool place to stay for visiting creative types.

His menu is a smooth mix of cuisines because, rather like a hotel restaurant, a theatre restaurant has to cater for all tastes and often all ages. This invariably means at least one burger on the menu and Stars has it, the chap at the next table’s meat sandwich certainly looks the burger business.

There is a set menu, available early evening (from 5pm-7pm) at £20 for two courses (£25 for three). As most shows will start at 7:30 this is a good option to have.

We go a la carte, reassured on timing as we have tickets for the evening play ‘Marvellous’ (it is by the way). A starter of salmon ‘two ways’ – jasmine cold smoked slices and a chunk cured in miso – is generous, perhaps even too generous but you can’t complain about that. 

The two salmons do taste rather similar, and the smoked salmon is so thickly wrapped it texturally resembles its partner, but it’s a lively dish with ribbons of smoky courgette a clever addition.

P stage whispers how much she likes her beetroot and ricotta, a dish made with heritage tomatoes – red, yellow and the stripy chioggia ones. We grow all of these on our allotment, and this dish makes the most of the earthy flavours and the colours. Walnut adds texture and orange juice balances the sweetness of the ‘roots.

Good lively modern stuff, and it carries on with my pumpkin ravioli. These plump pillows come on a bed of spinach covered in what is advertised as parmesan foam, but I would call it ‘a lot of cheesy sauce’.

It completely covers the ravioli. I don’t know if the chef’s hand slipped, but it needed to be fifty percent less to allow the ravioli space to breathe. They are very good ravioli, the pasta a little bit tough from possible overworking, but the pumpkin filling is a seasonal treat albeit rather swamped by sauce.

All the mains are reasonably priced, although a dish of Crispy Skin Cod with quinoa comes in at nearly double the average at £29. We’re intrigued by it, but not tempted. Instead P sticks with fish, but the more reasonable Grilled Bass fillet with a pea puree and garlic glazed pink fir apple spuds.

This has perfectly crispy skin, always a sign of a good kitchen, and the pea puree is luminous and rather lovely. You can’t beat pink fir apple spuds, it’s good to see them on offer instead of the similar, but more ubiquitous ratte. Another good dish.

With the curtain up thirty minutes away, there is ample time for dessert, if little room for it. Brilliant Basque cheesecake (their words) is actually as advertised. A recent invention, from the 1990s, Basque cheesecake is creamier in its centre and usually has a ‘burnt’ or caramelised top, and while the original recipe has mutated since the 90s, it should be slightly oozy. This hits all the spots, bulging provocatively outward like a ripe camembert.

P’s Vegan oat tart with Raspberry caramel sounded rather worthy, a kind of Islington Breakfast, but she likes the chewy oats and the fresh raspberry flavour and the meringue shell brings in some cheerfully unhealthy sweetness, so it’s a proper dessert after all.

Stars hits all the targets it needs to, with modern and stylish food presented unfussily and with an eagerness to please. I’ll head back for an encore.