Donuts & Baguettes, Soho

If I needed a spot for some hangover-sugary options, Donuts & Baguettes is a good pick. But not if I’m looking for a good donut. Or Baguette. The location is handy, being in the crust of Piccadilly Circus. And with wide opening hours of 7am to 11pm every day, it no doubts captures some of the confused-where-to-eat crowd. I popped in on my way home and had a vanilla lined donut. Not sure what the difference is to the other vanilla donut but probably moot. The frosting is fine, and Dunkin Donuts like, but the cake wasn’t up to scratch. Could have been the lower level of freshness at this evening hour but it ended up tasting dry. For £1.85 not too diasterrific but I’m sure you can do better around here.

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6/10

Donuts & Baguettes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lick Gelato, Soho

I came. I licked. I conquered. Lick Gelato is so handy to the office which is both exciting and dangerous. I headed inwards for a scoop of the cold stuff.  I went with the black sesame option after carefully analysing the options. Perfectly fine ice-cream and unfussy service as per the description on Google. It’s refreshing that Lick Gelato is an independent store, and that they offer such an interesting range of flavours. In fact, there’s 24 flavours and they change from time-to-time. Back to the black sesame, there’s a great creamy texture and some lovely savoury nuttiness, without being overly sweet. That’s one more dessert options all licked up.

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7.5/10

Lick Gelato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat Tokyo, Soho

My jaw dropped when I saw the size of the Eat Tokyo katsu curry of my neighbour. £9 gets you an insanely large bowl with surely what must be a kilo of rice, curry and what, five individual breasts of chicken? It’s all so overwhelming and the smells were alright. I was a bit more tamer with my selection. But still ended up spending about the same, for my chicken karage donburi. I substituted the sushi for some pickles and it was a huge portion, with salad and agedashi tofu as well. The flavours were good and there was a lot of them. I did have a salty aftertaste later on, so may be MSG-y or maybe it was salt. Can’t go wrong at that price point, though split with a friend (or two!) and give the massive curry a go. There’s eight branches of Eat Tokyo around London and they’ve been going for a good while. Whilst the staff weren’t Japanese the food could have fooled otherwise.

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Biju Bubble Tea Room, Soho

It’s been a busy, busy few weeks and I am thankful for every moment’s reprieve I can get during the working day. I slipped out for a frozen dessert of some description but I wasn’t alone with the same view. With the cruel hands of time slipping away, a quick drink was requisite. So I hit up Biju Bubble Tea. The layout of the store is a little odd, but with four staff the treats get dispensed oh-so-quickly. I didn’t have time to commit to some weird concoction, so went along with the matcha bubble tea with pearls. The matcha flavour is quite good and there’s not an overwhelming level of sweetness. I could have done with much less ice and much more pearl(s). One of the slogans is fresh milk, but I don’t think I’ve come across a store that doesn’t do this. And its a bit hypocritical to say fresh, given all the flavours are out of chemical-looking bottles. Still back to work!

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7/10

Biju Bubble Tea Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Patty & Bun, Soho

So I’ve dined at Patty & Bun exactly twice, with one good experience and one, not-so-good. Both were the same menu item, that’s the ‘Hot Chic Chicken Burger’ (£8.50). The deciding factor on success was freshness. The first time with my MealPal I got a freshly prepared burger, but the second time they gave me one that had been sitting around a while. As you might expect, wilted lettuce, cold chips and un-crispy chicken made a good lunch it did not. I should note that with the MealPal service you select a slot to pick up your order. So the latter experience was due to someone else not picking up on time and me being offloaded with their fast soggy food.

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But on the occasion I was happy. The buttermilk fried chicken is a nice-sized fillet, with the fries skin-on and rustic cut. The chicken burger is a simple affair, with just a dash of garlic aioli, slaw and pickle. The meat’s tender and contrasts well with the brioche bun and mild sauces.

6/10

Patty & Bun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Amorino, Soho

Always in bloom are the eye-catching, jaw-dropping rose gelato creations of Amorino. It is a chain, and there are plenty of these stores around. Founded in Paris by two childhood friends there are now thousands of stores globally. We popped in for the local Soho one for an afternoon treat. Whilst you can get a pedestrian scoop in a waffle, you’d want to go for a rose gelato. You can choose any number of flavours and the scooper will rotate between petals. The whole process is a time consuming one, so you can be there’ll be a queue on a sunny day. The mix of my flavours was mango, strawberry and raspberry sorbets. Dare I say, the selections may have been in part for a floral-appropriate array of colours. But the sorbet is tasty, my favourite was the mango here. Naturally, it melts fast, so do your best job to finish this one off quickly.

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8/10

Amorino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Detox Kitchen, Soho

With so much fast food and junk appearing in today’s modern diets (and mine, cough) it’s refreshing for a concept like The Detox Kitchen. It aims to de-stress the pain of finding healthy eating options and that’s a mission I could wholeheartedly endorse. However, I couldn’t find myself as endeared to the meal I had recently. Soho is a busy strip for eating options and The Detox Kitchen boasts a crowd that makes you look twice. Fortunately with a MealFix order I was able to slip and out with my items in tow.

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Today’s offering was the vegetarian frittata and two salads. The box looks great. It’s colourful, fresh and vibrant and lives up to the expectation visually. The menu is wholly wheat, dairy and refined sugar-free and that may explains why things go a little amiss. The frittata tastes flat and under-seasoned, the lack of dairy made this end up tasting more like a mishmash of otherwise fine components. It was particularly wet, that’s not a description I find myself using or wanting to use for a frittata. A little cream doesn’t hurt. The salads were better, but still watery and lacking of flavour. It’s a case where I wish it tasted a notch up, as would love to be a regular. Gimme that gluten baby.

5.5/10

The Detox Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jinjuu, Soho

Well, every now and then you’re bound to hit a speed bump. Jinjuu might be a quite alright restaurant but I can’t say I was too blown away by my MealPal lunch. For the record, that’s the lunch subscription service I’ve been on. Different restaurants offer a lunch option and you can select what you feel like. It’s always nice for new restaurants to get in on the action. Unfortunately no filters or zoom could make it look any better than it was. Three pieces of chicken thigh and a scoop of rice with some pity garnish. The chicken was well cooked and had some nice seasoning but the sheer minimalism is a little… minimal. Jinjuu’s proper offering might be a marked step up from what this box offered, but for now it felt like a step in the wrong direction.

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Ma’Plucker, Soho

Ma’Plucker’s one of the chicken options near the office, and it’s part of the MealPal crowd as well. I do miss my favourite chicken shop (Chicken with a Twist) near my old office in South Melbourne (Aus) as I haven’t yet quite been enamoured by the options this way. I picked up the fried chicken wrap with mayo and lettuce. And it’s pretty much as described, chunks of fried chicken with a good ratio of green to sauce. The coating didn’t stay crispy in the wrap, but the breading was nice enough. I enjoyed for the most part, but would have preferred ordering in where you still got the satisfying crunch part of the wrap. It was a good sized bite and the meat wasn’t dry at all.

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7.5/10

Ma'Plucker Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Crosstown Doughnuts, Soho

I had first encountered Crosstown Doughnuts on my lunch at Tombo, where I declared the matcha one fantastic-inventive-great! So I was just as excited checking out the full blown store in Soho. London’s a big place, which makes it easy to miss a spot, though Crosstown has some coverage with four stores across the scene. There’s some rave reviews and lots of tantalising flavour options which hypes up the experience somewhat. I had the kiwi(fruit) and green apple (£3.50). This is a sourdough based, with a fruit compote with mint-infused white chocolate icing. It wasn’t quite as wow as the cake-based one I had last time, but is a solid donut option for these parts. The sourdough base ends up being too much bread-like for my donut preferences. There’s a good amount of compote in each bite and it’s great tasting. Crosstown make all their own, and you can feel that with every bite having chunks of fruit. Will return.

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8/10

Crosstown Doughnuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato