Andrew Edmunds is a cult institution in Soho. Tucked away next to the owner’s antique shop, the little restaurant has the charm of times long gone. The food is not exactly modern neither, but cheap and very good for what it does. The big thing here however is the wine list. Constantly changing, it can feature such things as Meursaults from the Domaine des Comtes Lafon for well under £100, Fourrier Gevreys for around £40, and what we drank a 1997 Jean Louis Chave Hermitage for as little as £75. Compared with other restaurants, where this wine costs at least 5 times more, I was incredibly happy finally discover this legend. To be honest, it did not give me any emotions. A bit on the acidic side (don’t know if that will disappear with more bottle age), the other flavours did not really shine through. I found none of the fruit-forward, opulent character that Mr. Parker ascribes to it, but well, that being said it was a decent wine, just not up to its reputation.
The food was pretty good, much better than I had hoped in fact. Starting off with beetroot salad with smoked eel, you had good quality eel, very aptly seasoned beets and a nice, refreshing cream. All one needs, and at around £4, one can’t ask for much more.
A game terrine with pear was a little on the dry side, but with bags of flavour. Without being mind-blowing it was a tasty little plate, again priced more than fairly.
Much better were the cod fritters with a herb salad. Simple, but very well made, these were tasty, warm and crispy. They did what they said, and we were able to move on to the mains.
A fishcake was quite impressive (£12). Deep-fried without even a hint of grease on the coating, it came with wilted spinach and a kind of tartare sauce. The crunchy coating made way for the intensely flavoursome and creamy filling, where the ratio between the various ingredients was just right. Very good indeed!
For meat we chose a roast pork belly with cabbage and crackling. Boy, this wasn’t only a big portion but also a very very good piece of pork. Meltingly tender, with a nicely caramelised skin, I couldn’t help but polish the plate. Very good.
All in all it was a great meal here. All of the dishes tried were simple, tasty and very well executed (with the exception of the terrine possibly). The atmosphere was great and even the service, which seems to get some less glowing reviews was more than friendly. The wine list must be the best in London, and it makes sense. An equally young couple on the table next to us was drinking one of Dominique Lafon’s very capable Meursaults. Great for a casual, relaxed dinner or lunch and fantastic wines.