02 June 2014

So-so dinner at Muriel's Kitchen, Soho, London

The warmth glows through the windows. Inside people are eating and chatting away. It looks homely, warm and welcoming. We take a peek at the menu and step from the cover of the green and white striped awnings to the bustle inside.

The staff are friendly, despite being busy, and we are seated after only waiting for 5 minutes. I order the Famous Beef Lasagne as they are out of the Chicken Harissa, and the Rainbow Orzo Salad. My friend orders Muriel's Homemade Fish Pie, the Ultimate Paprika Potato Wedges and, later, a chocolate milkshake.
It was a busy Saturday night in Soho and Muriel's Kitchen was busy. There was a comfortable level of noise, my friend and I didn't need to shout at each other to be heard. The decor inside is definitely homely, it exudes farmhouse kitchen with wooden panels, framed brass pans and cake tins.

Its almost 9.30 and when the food arrives I dig in. The first bite of my lasagne is delicious. But, sadly, the pleasure ends there. After a few more bites I notice that the lasagne is a bit salty and while the mince is generous, there's hardly any sauce. The Orzo salad is fine but a bit on the plain side with goats cheese that, while creamy, is surprisingly bland. My friend enjoys his fish pie, the fish being fresh and flavourful. The paprika potato wedges are disappointing, they are soft, no crunch or flavour and are served with plain yogurt instead of the sour cream and chives as stated in the menu.  The milkshake was also OK, not syrupy but the ice cream used wasn't very chocolaty at all.

Going by the menu and the number of people I was expecting a bit more flavour in the dishes and I was let down. I also think that for a Saturday night in Soho, to run out of the Chicken Harissa dish shows little planning in the kitchen. Plus I would expect the staff to offer alternatives to the dip accompanying the wedges rather than substituting without advice. Admittedly, the waiter did apologise and offer an alternative but only after I had brought it to his attention.

On the bright side. The atmosphere is lovely, the staff friendly and unflustered. They served a bottle of tap water and didn't include a service charge on the bill - big bonus points in my book. Oh and the brownies, they gave a sample as we were waiting to be seated, and they are delicious! I think that maybe Muriel's Kitchen would be better for breakfast/brunch or lunch, I'd give it a miss for dinner.

Have you been? What did you think?


  1. Very interesting - would you re-visit do you think?

    1. Sadly I dont think I would go again for dinner or lunch. But I would consider giving their breakfast a try though. It wouldnt be a priority though.

    2. That's such a pity - eating out in London is so expensive that we don't really have time for disappointment!

    3. I know! I was so ready for Muriels to be my new favourite place in Soho.