When you make plans and they fail, you may find a treasure along the way. I sure did the other night.
I went to go visit an old friend, who just moved to London, and wanted to take him to SOHO for dinner, as it’s always an experience.
We originally, planned to go to La Bodega Negra, as it was new and had great reviews. We were dropped off by the taxi at the end of the street and the cabbie told us that it was just up to the left on Old Compton St. We went up and down the first two blocks and when we came upon where the restaurant was supposed to be, we see this…
So, obviously we think the place was short-lived.
Then I remembered seeing a sign for a Japanese Whiskey Bar across the street … Intriguing. From the outside, it looks like the tiniest little hole in the wall, but walk in and it expands much further than you would think.
Immediately we decided to sit at the bar, which had direct view to the skewer grill being used in front of us.
After speaking with the GM, this restaurant is a modern take on Japanese Izakaya.
We looked at the menu and it’s primarily skewers, but we found this gem, sashimi salad. It was so amazingly refreshing and fresh. The fish blended perfectly with the salad and dressing. Highly recommend.
We had to, of course, try the skewers. The specialty. We ordered the Samurai platter, but had to order more, as the two of us were hungry. This platter is perfect if you don’t know what to order, but I highly suggest ordering the duck skewer, if you like duck. So succulent and delicious! I wish I ordered it first.
I had my sake served in a Japanese box, which originally was and is still used for measuring rice, but is also used to drink from with sake. …This restaurant also uses them for the bill. (They are also for sale for £3.50 each. Great souvenir.)
Bill Box (with restaurant’s motto)
When we finished paying, I asked where the whiskey was, since their sign stated such. We were informed by the GM of the Whiskey Bar downstairs, which served a multitude of whiskeys from Japan. What a great idea to have a whiskey lounge to use pre- & post- meal!
Had some of the best whiskey I’ve had in a while and was thoroughly entertained by the bartender, who had a fantastic sense of humour. This guy knows his whiskey!
This gentleman also knew a few other things!
Apparently, the girls, girls, girls sign we previously saw for La Bodega Negra was supposed to be like that! The restaurant is downstairs from a sex shop as a front and to keep it secret… No wonder we saw a girl with a clip-board outside. Was thinking before that it must have been some high-end strip-club, but no! It’s a restaurant where you have to pass by sex toys to enter.
For the next time I’m in SOHO…