Among the spate of new “diner” openings the other week, most notably Shake Shack and Five Guys, it was the opening of the Soho Diner, London that TFW was particularly keen to head to. Brought to you by the Soho House group, we had nothing but high hopes for this latest offering, nestled in the heart of Soho (Old Compton Street) whilst bringing you cocktails on tap.
The first thing that struck us about the Soho Diner was its ambience, everyone was, well, just very relaxed. Settled in their booths, tables or simply propping up the bar, the Diner has managed to strike that elusive balance between meticulous design whilst nevertheless creating an overwhelmingly relaxed atmosphere. There was a real sense of an old school meeting place to the Diner, where everyone congregated to chat with old friends (perhaps meet some new ones), whilst watching the world go by over a cocktail or two. I think the difficulty in achieving this can be underestimated, creating such an effortless vibe takes, well, some effort.
The second thing that you notice about the Soho Diner is its hotly anticipated cocktails on tap. Keen to make the most of this phenomenon we duly took residence at the bar so that we could chat to the bar staff about this revelation. The bar has, wisely in our opinion, limited the cocktails on tap to five classics (albeit some with a twist): Mojito, Cosmopolitan, Root to Mule, Soho Collins and Negroni. In fact, this is indicative of their menus in general; food and drink is limited to the classics, but all of which are well done and carefully selected. There is no unnecessary grandstanding – what you see is what you get and what you get is pretty darn good (the pictures may well belie the fact that we didn’t stop at the one cocktail…) What should be made clear is that the quality of the cocktails is not reduced by the fact they are available on tap. Each drink is carefully curated and they don’t lose on the flavour front as a result of their unusual serving system. For those of you who prefer beer (bottled and draught), wine, or a wider array of cocktails the Soho Diner also has decent options on offer in all categories.
For its location and service the Soho Diner is well priced (cocktails are £6, bottled beers £4-5 and, more importantly, chips are £4). Moreover, given the onset of sunshine in London the Diner has tables outside so that you can eat al fresco and embrace Soho’s holiday spirit.
The facts: The Soho Diner is located at 19-21 Old Compton Street, London W1D 5JJ their website is here and their twitter handle is @SohoDinerLDN. At the time of writing opening hours are: Sunday – Wednesday 11-1 and Thursday to Saturday 11-3.