Review: 100 Wardour St post-lockdown — Soho, London

100 Wardour St Soho London Valentine's Day
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100 Wardour St is the venue that was previously home to the Marquee Club, known for hosting music acts such as the late David Bowie. 100 Wardour St has since become a bar, restaurant and live music venue that we have frequented over the years.

100 Wardour St

Having reopened from lockdown over the August bank holiday weekend, the first sign of change is the even stricter entry conditions – we needed to confirm our booking with staff outside venue before following a short one-way system to main host point inside, where we confirmed our booking a second time, before being escorted downstairs to our table.

At 6:30pm on a Friday we were surprised to see we were the only party to be seated, but were assured that the restaurant was booked up. Lo and behold, by about 8pm, all the now-socially-distanced tables were full. So booking is key, just not so early as you’re the first party to arrive we learned.

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For those familiar with 100 Wardour St, the stage is the main focal point for downstairs restaurant space. Dancing is no longer permitted later in the evening, but entertainment is still provided, a mix of ‘acts’, a DJ followed by a band, followed by another DJ set, and the lockdown regulations mean a subdued volume, which, if seated next to the stage, now has the benefit of being able to continue a conversation.

One observation was that all staff wear face visors, which at the best of times only have the effect of directing any germs (breathed, sneezed or otherwise) downwards. This is by no means unique to 100 Wardour St staff, but for those being extra-cautious about post-lockdown dining, something to be aware of.

Dining

The single-sheet, wipe-clean menu is another obvious change to hygiene procedures post-lockdown. Eating on a Friday, this was the ‘weekend menu’ where two courses are £36 and three courses are £42.
To start we chose the steak tartare (with a spicy relish, cornichon pickles, confit yolk and toasted sourdough) and the Burrata (served with slow roasted tomatoes, parma ham, pine nuts and balsamic vinegar). There was nothing wrong with either dish, in fact both were tasty and well presented, but for some reason they did not excite us.

For main course we chose the 200g fillet steak (£6 supplement) with a green pepper sauce and a side of triple-cooked chips, and Salmon (served on a bed of spiced crab barley with saffron butter and salsa verde) and a side of green beans. Main courses again were well presented, and this time did hit the spot, though the double hit of onion (a roasted shallot and home-made onion ring) with the steak was a little overkill.

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For dessert, because naturally we are two insatiable diners, we chose the White chocolate sphere (served with Morello cherries and pistachios) and the Sticky toffee pudding, served with caramel sauce, clotted cream, and – to my horror as a sticky toffee pudding purist – roasted banana! Whilst the trend of a melting chocolate sphere at the diners’ table, may itself be melting away, this rich chocolate hit did not disappoint.

Cocktails

Alongside the re-opening, 100 Wardour St has launched a new cocktail menu, “Creative Disorder” with drinks named after famous artists. After dinner we made our way upstairs to the ground floor bar to have a couple of cocktails to round off the evening.

  • Bloom (made with Ketel One Vodka, Vermouth Rose, Lavender and Peychaud bitters) £11 – named after the artist Georgia O’Keeffe, known for for her enlarged blossom paintings. This floral option plays heavily with aromatics so better suited to a pre-dinner aperitif before the senses are loosened by food and wine.
  • Like a virgin (made with Ketel One Vodka, camomile, strawberry, vanilla, lime and lemonade) £12 – this playfully presented tall cocktail is named after the Material Girl herself, and much like the song namesake, will tempt you to have it in on repeat.

Overall thoughts

100 Wardour St has managed to relaunch, bringing back the glitterati to the Soho, with its exclusive club vibe and on the list of places for those looking to be seen. The food menu does not set it apart in this regard, though the service, menu and price-point (circa £50 per person for 3 courses and sides) ware perfectly palatable for a dinner out. The Creative Disorder cocktail menu is really where the venue has careful consideration to its clientele, with a layer of intelligence, playfulness and maintained sophistication.

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100 Wardour St is located at 100 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 0TN

For more information and to book, visit 100wardourst.com.