I’m usually late for most things. However, I can claim to being ahead of the curve with solo dining. I’ve been doing this since 2013 and now, in the time of Covid-19, I can eat out without breaking any rules: I’m solo solos! London is currently tier 2, business lunches aside, and now restaurants actively want my money. No more of this, we don’t serve solo diners. It’s now, let me roll out the red carpet for you ma’am. Yes, restaurants finally recognise the queen that I am! Once a month I give myself a self care treat of a full body massage although there was a bit of a hiatus during full lockdown! Last Saturday, I decided that not only was a massage in order but, also a delicious lunch at Noble Rot’s new location in Soho to kickstart my solo dining, now with a mask, adventures again.
Noble Rot, Soho is in Soho. It’s taken over the site of the dearly departed den that was the Gay Hussar. The latter was reputedly the location where the men in suits plotted the overthrow of Margaret Thatcher, no less! It is kissing distance from Soho Square and looks very smart from the outside. It also happens to be next door to my favourite, hidden bar in London: Milroy’s. I’m happy to report that the Vault is still open even during these strange times.
Oh yes, inside Noble Rot it is beautifully lit: not too dark or too bright. It is quite an intimate space, that’s not to say it is very small but there’s no point turning up before your allotted time as there is nowhere to huddle inside the restaurant. The tables are of course spread out according to current Covid-19 regulations.
There was a happy buzz about the place. I had booked in advance so there was no need to wrangle with my phone to download an app. The waiter showed me to my table, which was in a nook and gave me a view of the entire restaurant. I’d like to think that was the star table. Actually, let’s just agree that it was. My coat was taken and a complimentary bottle of hand sanitiser was placed o the table. The table was already laid.
Noble Rot has a sister, or should I say original outlet in a different part of central London that is a wine bar serving bites. The wine is sensational and what is great about Noble Rot is they aren’t sniffy or snobbish about explaining the wine to you and making suggestions. The staff are very knowledgeable. It’s a lovely touch that they suggest a wine for each course. Of course, madam here was going to have a glass and I started with the incredible and very usual vin de jardin, domain de galouchey. Had I not been going to have a massage, I’d have been tempted for another glass. It was delicious, rounded but not too heavy.
I ordered the onglet which was cooked to perfection and happily it came with potatoes to soak up some of the wine. Whilst there, I did get a pang of food envy watching a couple work their way through the chicken that’s for 2 or 3 people. Another reminder, that I must invite my support bubble to come here and eat with me.
For dessert, Noble Rot kindly substituted the panna cotta from the main menu as I am gluten intolerant and so couldn’t eat what was offered on the set menu. I love it when a restaurant goes that extra mile. Stop press: I am now a convert to the ways of panna cotta. I’ve never liked it before but, then clearly, I never had one with the right wobble factor. Eating the fig panna cotta was a religious experience and, I pray they never take it off their menu. Of course, it would have been rude not to have ordered a glass of something to go with it. After a very interesting Sicilian white wine, I was sensible and made my third beverage a black coffee and drank the entire carafe of tap water.
In the time of Covid-19 restaurants want their tables turned around quickly, but I was not rushed nor was the food rushed out even though I was only ordering off the set menu. I’m glad that Noble Rot at least still remembers its’ manners!
Baby in the corner? Baby was given the star table. I looked out onto the entire restaurant and felt treated like the queen I am.
Pricey? I went for the set menu which was a steal at £18 for 2 courses or £22 for 3 courses. Ahem, I did have two glasses of wine and coffee and including service came to £49.
Where: 2 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 4NB
How: Tottenham Court Road or Leicester Square tube stations are about a leisurely 10 mins walk away.
Open when? Mon – Thurs 12-2.30pm/ 5-8pm, Fri & Sat 12-8pm non stop. Closed on Sundays.