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Restaurants & Bars 4

London - Modern European at Arbutus, Soho

klyeoh | Jan 9, 201202:40 PM

Pleasantly pleased by our dinner experience at Arbutus in Soho this evening. First time visit for me to this 5-year-old dining spot. What we had:

- Slow-cooked belly of lamb with Iranian aubergine (kashk bademjan) - lovely texture and surprisingly delicate, subtle flavors for this dish, which we'd expected to be more robust;
- Crisp pig's head, with spinach & turnip salad - simply loved the flavor, the rectangular block of compressed crisp-cooked pig's head meat was *exactly* what I expected and very substantial for a starter. Perfectly complemented by the crisp, crunchy textures of the accompanying salad;

- Roast rabbit, served with sides of artichokes, carrots & pancetta, and with a small pot of shoulder cottage pie. Robust meaty flavors here, can be on the heavy side for those little small appetites;
- Norfolk pheasant, with breast & leg sausage (which tasted very gamey & slightly bitterish) & potted cabbage. The pheasant was perfectly-cooked, slightly rare in the middle;

- Soft meringue with custard & pralines. Super-delightful - the rich, creamy custard was the star here;
- Biiter chocolate & clementine mousse, topped with pistachio & hazelnuts - liked the mousse, but the sticky, hard crumbles of caramelised & sugary nuts & bits were a bit of a nuisance.

Nice meal, unfortunately not Michelin-star standard as yet, and can be downright heavy in parts.

63-64 Frith St, London W1D, GB

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