At first glance, the concept behind Heritage Soho is, aptly, a melting pot. The menu is a rollcall of luxury: lobster, truffles, oysters, burrata, and steak, alongside the fondue and raclette sharing mains. In contrast the interiors are playful and contemporary with an apres-ski aesthetic: expect neon snowboards and Keith Haring artworks on the exposed brick walls, framing the central bar where the coiffed waiters craft negronis and espresso martinis. There’s a juxtaposition of the kitsch and the chic throughout and put simply – it’s wonderful. AND heaps of fun.
Heritage Soho’s immersive bar menu is worth a visit alone. Based upon three flavour profiles: sweet, sour, and bitter, with herbal notes that give a nod to the alpine theme, Heritage concepted a menu which, in their words, ‘gives out the alpine feel when the warm & refreshing foehn winds travel down the valleys and the hot sun melts the last snow on mountain peaks.’ Take it from us – do not miss the rum-based Tsuki No Jusu (translated as ‘The Moon’s Juice’), which arrived on steaming dry ice to beautifully represent the foggy nights and hot springs under a full moon at Niseko ski resort. Theatrics aside, the mix of white rum, coconut liquor, pineapple juice and aromatic bitters was delicious – refreshing, not too sweet and – most of all – fun!
With a menu that invites the diner to indulge, a round of oysters is a great place to start. We ordered four, which arrived on a bed of rock salt, with the classic accompaniments of shallot vinegar, lemon and the sweetest little bottle of Tabasco. Delicate, salty, ocean-sweet mouthfuls that left us wanting more: the perfect amuse-bouche.
If there’s burrata on a menu, I’m going to order it – and having consumed so much of the stuff over the years I think I’m a good judge of burrata’s character. This is a dish that hinges on the quality of ingredients – cheap burrata hits no different to a supermarket ball of mozzarella – and the creativity of the accompaniments (although just a good drizzle of grassy extra virgin olive oil is enough when the burrata is the really good stuff). Heritage Soho’s was excellent: creamy, with plenty of the aforementioned oil, and served with pumpkin slithers and seeds that were delicious.
My plus-one chose the steak tartar, served with the sweetest little brioche buns on a side, of which he said: “Steak tartar always seems like a treat. It’s meat in its purest form, and Heritage Soho added their own sparkle to make it even more special. The egg yolk and brioche accompanied nicely but didn’t overwhelm, and the steak itself was sublime.”
Ok, so despite all that beautiful, indulgent food, we were yet to scale the main event of dinner and the real reason for our visit to Soho Heritage: fondue! As a cheese lover, I’d been dreaming about this moment since receiving the invite to review the restaurant and I’m happy to report – dreams do come true. The fondue is for two people or more and forms the centrepiece of the dining table, served on a portable stove with a lit flame to keep the cheese perfectly molten whilst you dunk and dine. There’s also a slightly more expensive truffle fondue choice which sounded incredible, but too rich for us after the rounds of starters consumed. The fondue is served up with neatly cubed bread, baby potatoes and pickles; perfect little mouthfuls ready to dip into an indulgent cheese bath. We also ordered a side of truffle and parmesan fries because it’s impossible to say no to those on a menu. I’m running out of superlatives to describe Heritage’s food offering but really, truly this fondue was a delight. Well portioned for two people to share, full of rich cheese flavour and as with the entire Soho Heritage experience – lots of fun!
We finished our meal with a glass of chilled NV Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut, because it’s not Christmas until champagne has been quaffed.
Skip the ski trip this festive season – your passport to the Alps is a stone’s throw from Piccadilly. We can’t wait to go back for another Heritage Soho party!
Heritage Soho, 18-20 Rupert St, London W1D 6DF