Looking for a restaurant that’s cool but cosy, designed but unpretentious, in the centre of London but peaceful, for vegans but where meat eaters can dine out happily, side by side?
I’ve found it: Scarlett Green on Noel Street – in Soho, London Town
Downstairs is a swanky restaurant, with the kinda pink chairs I wanted to buy for my house – before I remembered all my cash had gone on the deposit. Love the decor here. You can see the chefs at work in the kitchen, like a huge screen reality show, live.
This was where Mel and I, the vegan friend – everyone’s got one – were supposed to eat.
Instead, we dined upstairs in the bar area.
We’d booked the meal way before either of us had any interest in the World Cup, and that night turned out to be the England vs Croatia semi-final. We didn’t imagine Scarlett Green would be showing it, but with London’s football fever in full swing they had a big screen upstairs and fans were already bagging the best tables.
Not the best table though, we got that.
Honestly, dining at Scarlett Green, at the back of the bar area with a view of the screen, but not in our face was THE most perfect way to watch the football. Totally matched our moderate levels of interest. But it’s ages till the next World Cup so let’s crack on with the menu, and what you can expect from a trip there without the footie disrupting things.
Mel’s a 25-year vegetarian, 2-year vegan – she knows her vegetables. I, on the other hand, love a bit of meat and fish. So together, we tried a lot…
The definite stand out for me was the ceviche, the aubergine and the puri salad.
“Sea bream ceviche, tigers milk, crunchy corn, sweet potato, coriander
Byron bhel puri salad, avocado, spicy tamarind (VG)
Fire roasted aubergine, crispy rice, tahini, cavlo nero” (VG)
Y’know when you can just taste that they’ve used really excellent quality ingredients? All carefully put together to create an absolute taste sensation.
We just kept ordering the small plates, rather than moving on to the main courses. So mnay delicious ones to choose from, and they recommend you to have 3 or 4 each, so we did just that. Followed by Small Bites, and then dessert.
Wanna know what else we tried?
“Spicy tuna tostada
Vegemite, cheese, truffle doughnut
Beef shin cigarillos, tamarind sauce
Roasted sweet potato wedges, pomegranate, mint (VG)
Roasted celeriac, green apple, dill, sorrel, chestnut” (VG)
As well as being out for the football it was also a celebration of four years to the day since I went freelance at this whole blogging malarkey, so we tried the cocktails too. I tried a grapefruit and gin concoction, that went down a little too well, before moving on to try the Riesling wine.
The thing is with London, and especially in Soho, restaurants often try to cram you in as tight as possible to get more customers. This definitely wasn’t the case here and even though there was a crowd in for the football, it was light and airy and spacious.
“Located in the heart of Soho, Scarlett Green draws upon Melbourne and Sydney café culture to deliver all-day delicious, Antipodean-inspired, imaginative food and cocktails.”
– Scarlett Green
The staff were lovely at Scarlett Green and although the vibe I enjoyed was quite unique, because of the football, I think this is a great place for a relaxed but tasty meal, with vegans and carnivores well catered for with plenty of selection. And that vegan chocolate ice cream was intense, you need to try it.
In short: unpretentious, friendly, really good food, lovely design, and some interesting twists on the menu I’ve never tried anywhere else.
If you’re looking for gluten-free options for London, check out this post on the happyceliac.com.
More adventures in London