So y’all probably know that my girlfriends and I head out on a date night once every few weeks. Like here. and here. and here. and sometimes we even go on a whole date weekend. In the transient state that is being an Australian living in London, people come and go, and so our date night posse shrinks and grows accordingly. One of my bestest buddies here, Helen, left recently and so our date night last week was the first without her, and I don’t know if it’s cos she wasn’t there, or if Soseki is just nothing to write home about… but I thought the whole thing was just a little bit… average.
Maybe I’m just missing Helen
No actually, I think Soseki was just average. Sorry!
Hidden amongst office buildings and down an alley, if you actually find Soseki, you are already a bona fide hero. Climbing the stairs into its loft space, first impressions are actually great because straight up they serve some super crazy-hot wasabi peas (but oh hello, it was charged to our bill at the end of the night).
Anyway… it wasn’t all bad. For example, if you’re wondering what that thing is right up the top of this post, that was something of an amuse bouche, a sesame coated quail egg with roe and a miniature broccolini, and aside from being completely hypnotised by the psychedelic plate, it was one of my favourite dishes of the night, and kicked the evening off to a great start.
I was in love with Soseki at this point because remember, I didn’t yet realise they were going to charge me for the 10 or so wasabi peas, and lord knows the next starter was divine. I know less than nothing about oysters, but believe me, the rock oysters with yuzu citrus sauce tasted ridiculously good ~ I’m sure it was the freshness, the non-salt-water-ness (I understand that not liking the salt water is an indication of my oyster noob-ness), the citrus sauce or maybe, just maybe it was the shallots that did it. I mean, who’s obsessed with shallots? Oh right, me. Yum.
The other two starters were a bit blah, and perhaps a sign of things to come. The crab salad roll was particularly bland and I swear to god I tasted not an inkling of crab, and the maki rolls were salmon & avocado. Like, for real just salmon & avocado, like did I just pay £10 for that?!
The mains were a mixed bag too. The teriyake free range chicken could have been M&S roast chicken disguised as.. oh wait it wasn’t disguised as anything, it really tasted to me like supermarket roast chicken, but the hondashi risotto it came with was deliciously moist and flavoursome.
As for the sucking pig, I for one loved the fatty goodness but there were murmurs around the table about the lack of any meat and the skin was just soggy. And the salmon? It came out much later than the first two and was good, no complaints, but no life altering impressions on my food-brain either.
Dessert was actually quite good, but I mean, I’m so not objective about these things. If I could, I would live my life on desserts. And burgers. I had the strawberry snow egg, which essentially was egg-white foam wrapped around a scoop of strawberry sorbet. YUM! Just thinking about it making my toes curl!
The others had the chocolate marquis, described to us as chocolate mousse but don’t be fooled, it’s more like a hardcore chocolate terrine – rich to the power of infinity, but complemented very nicely by the elderflower ice cream which was a touch salty (weird, but good), a perfect accompaniment to the rich chocolate.
So I don’t know. I don’t think I liked Soseki all that much and don’t really plan to return. Amidst typical date night discussions of make up, babies, visas (the bane of our Australian existence in the UK) and South American trips (not me, sadly), we really did miss Helen and her perpetually cheerful and super cute self.
Not that that’s an excuse for Soseki to not imprint on my food-brain. I love Japanese. I am like so lenient on Japanese… but yet, this just didn’t do it for me.
30 St Mary Axe
London, EC3A 5AA
0207 621 1921