Restaurant Review: Cafe Monico (Metro, 25th Apr 2016)


Unconvinced by the sound of Parmesan custard? Well, a trip to this new opening from the formidable Soho House group might just change your mind. Inspired by the original Café Monico, launched in 1877, it’s a haven of easy-going style in the midst of London’s hectic Theatreland.

The all-day brasserie menu is masterminded by chef Rowley Leigh, whose signature dish (the aforementioned Parmesan custard with anchovy toast, £7) is a must-eat starter: a pillow-soft cream pot set off by an umami Parmesan kick and the rich, salty crunch of the toast. Veal with prosciutto and sage (£18) makes a freshly flavoursome and tender main while the Dover sole (£29 and expertly deboned before our eyes) is a silky, tasty triumph. Sweet but tangy creamed tomatoes are a lesson in how to turn a salad item into something devilishly delicious.

Save room for some pudding: the crêpe soufflé Grand Marnier (£7) is quite literally an oozingly boozy crêpe wrapped around a soufflé and exactly as incredible as that sounds. An anaemic ginger tart with rhubarb (£6) unfortunately lacks all fire by comparison. With a balconied upstairs overlooking a square bar and a ginormous chandelier dominating the centre of the two storeys, it’s hard not to get a wonderful view from the first floor – the ground floor is reserved for walk-ins.

Come for brunch, dinner or uniquely designed cocktails but, most importantly, for warm vibes and European classics served with an appealing twist.