Andy Mossack gets a front row Soho seat as he tries out the Antipodean fare of Scarlett Green Soho, the flagship restaurant of Daisy Green Collective.
Saturday night in Soho and although we are in the middle of a pandemic, it seems it’s business as usual.
From my front-row seat, a table right next to the wide-open terrace doors, I watch the passing tableau of tottering ladies, alcohol-fuelled and dressed to kill in six-foot-high heels.
It’s a highly entertaining curtain-raiser to a very tasty culinary journey combining Aussie and Asian flavours that certainly live up to the menu billing.
Scarlet Green Soho is one of nine locations from the Daisy Green Collective, an Antipodean-influenced food group founded by Prue Freeman and Tom Onions from humble kerb-side beginnings in 2012 using vintage ice cream vans and tricycles.
Ten years on and the kerb has been ditched for a string of cafes and restaurants and if this Noel Street flagship restaurant, inspired by Melbourne and Sydney café culture is anything to go by, the jump from the road to roadside looks a roaring success.
The interior of Scarlett Green is two floors of trendy industrial chic; warehouse-standard extraction pipes wind their way around racks of spots lighting Australian themed wall art although the marble-topped tables give it an air of elegance as do the large potted plants dotted around. The splendid bar (rumoured to have the largest Australian wine collection in London) stretches along one entire wall, inspired, no doubt, by your average Australian’s penchant for downing grog in all its forms.
Scarlett Green has built its reputation on bottomless brunches (it’s the Prosecco that’s bottomless, as you get one savoury and one sweet dish) and quite possibly why it has a large and loyal female customer base. But I’m here for dinner, and while the brunch babes may not be in residence tonight there is, nevertheless, a healthy swathe of ladies intent on having a good night out. Helped on their way, no doubt, by the resident weekend DJ who is stationed behind me spinning platters intently.
The summer menu (served from noon every day) manages to satisfy just about every palate from full-on carnivores to vegans and anyone else in-between. But before the main event, I take the opportunity to nibble on a very tasty appetizer of sticky Korean cauliflower florets dipped in sesame and ginger (£7.20) and spicy tuna tostada (£2.60) with avocado, wasabi cream and candied chilli.
The star billing is reserved for the sharing boards (served from 5 pm, minimum of 2 people). An Aussie BBQ meat feast (£26.60 pp) comprising local lamb tomahawk, 28-day aged onglet steak, herb and fennel sausages, smoky BBQ back ribs, chimichurri, and a choice of two sides
The Bondi Vegan Board (£18.40 pp) is equally plentiful. Smoky BBQ tofu steak, crispy wild rice salad, fire-roasted aubergine, crispy coconut rice, vegan curry-stuffed pepper, Korean hot potato, and citrus & almond salad.
Not to be outdone, the HG Walter Steaks (sourced and butchered by the Walter family butchers) are very impressive; a 28-day aged sirloin (300 g) or a 45-day aged ribeye (320 g) both with truffle & parmesan fries, bearnaise/pepper sauce, sour cream and lettuce salad, and both £26.
The DJ picks a track that is hugely popular with all the assembled throng as arms go up in the air and the girls all chirp along as soon as the first notes play out. The management is quick to point out the COVID guidelines on singing and relative calm is restored. Talking of COVID protocols, the tables are socially distanced and the bifold floor to ceiling windows offer plenty of fresh air.
The Aussie theme continues into sweets where a wholesome selection is topped by Scarlett’s Josper roasted pineapple with lime syrup, shortbread crumb and coconut sorbet. (£7.50). Although I have to point out the Melbourne Mars Bar cheesecake ball with fresh berries (£8.80) also deserves a mention.
Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Scarlett Green. The Korean collie was delicious and the steak large, juicy and perfectly cooked. Of course, it helped to wash it all down with a glass or two of excellent Australian Pinot Noir but for a fun night out, this Soho resto is great value and a total hit with me.
Of course, getting that passerby front-row seat is a must for topping up your evening’s entertainment.
Steak image (C) Andy Mossack.
Tell me more about Scarlett Green Soho
Scarlett Green, 4 Noel St, Soho, London W1F 8GB
T: 020 3653 2010