Restaurant Review: Café Monico

In our Nov/Dec 2016 issue, Good Things’ Editorial Director Carole Hamilton enjoys a little French glamour in this buzzy brasserie nestled in the heart of London’s Theatreland…

Café Monico is Soho House Group’s latest membership-free venture, and, accordingly, offers good food without the exclusivity.  The restaurant’s menu has a distinct Mediterranean accent, with a plentiful array of French and Italian favourites. Open for all-day dining, Café Monico operates under the guidance of Rowley Leigh – a chef synonymous with breaking more than a few fine dining rules in the early nineties with his then- restaurant, Kensington Place.

The venue


Café Monico only opened in April, but already feels like an old friend that you can’t wait to visit time and time again (and, indeed, I have subsequently made several return visits). An inconspicuous door is your portal from Shaftesbury Avenue’s rather less-than- glamorous surrounds to a sophisticated brasserie with Art Deco styling.

The food and drink


The kitchen executes Leigh’s smart comfort cooking with delicious precision. Considering the central London location, prices are surprisingly low – £9 nets you two courses at lunchtime, and £16 a full three-course meal. A knowledgeable foodie friend mentions that the £13 Monico breakfast offers excellent value, and, given his palate is worth trusting, his recommendation is one to heed.

Small plates include a perfectly tender octopus; brown crab on toast, and steak tartare. Happily, Leigh has resurrected his signature parmesan custard with anchovy toast, and – we receive a pillow-so , gloriously wobbly cream pot whose richness is offset by an umami parmesan kick…

Hungry for more? Order a copy of our Nov/Dec 2016 issue to read the full review and find out more. 

Where: 39-45 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 6LA
Reservations: To make a booking, phone 020 3727 6161 or click here.
Price: Average cost for a la carte dinner for two with drinks: £110 

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