Review: Old Compton Brasserie, London

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Reviewing the Old Compton Brasserie in collaboration with OpenTable for booking restaurants in Soho.

Love Soho, whenever in London, it’s always one of the places I opt for dining out – especially being so close to the theatres. It’s always buzzing and it’s the place that always delivers a true London restaurant experience. Even if you just travel from the suburbs. It’s also full of the best co-working places, so naturally many good cafes and eateries are around.

OpenTable asked me to review one of their flag ship member restaurants and I picked the Old Compton Brasserie as based on the reviews on OpenTable it’s a great place for pre-theatre dining. This is a feature I find very useful when I book with OpenTable. I normally just play it safe when booking a restaurant I’ve never been before and check if it’s got good reviews. There’s always a couple of photos too. Another thing that I find very useful when booking with OpenTable is that I can check the restaurant’s current menu. Being vegan/vegetarian can still be a challenge sometimes and whilst I never mind eating vegetarian food – I’d prefer vegan. It’s good to see what’s on the menu for me so it’s not an unpleasant surprise. So this is how I chose the Old Compton Brasserie.

restaurant review polenta

Review: Old Compton Brasserie, London

Location

Very convenient, short walk to Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square tube stations and buses. Bit tricky to get a cab or an Uber though. 

Menu

A mixture of popular crowdpleasers: burger (meaty or plant based), seafood linguine, grilled halloumi, steak, chickpea and veg curry, pan fried sea bream, Korean BBQ wings – so plenty of modern gastro pub classics. Not really a brasserie in my view but the selection perfectly mirrors what most people want to eat when out in a casual restaurant for a nice meal. 

The Old Compton has quite a few different menus too: brunch, lunch, seasonal set menu and dinner menu and it has an impressive looking bar with cocktails and wine.

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old compton brasserie london restaurant

My meal

The dinner menu has one meat free in each main section (not sure if vegan or vegetarian, but like I said it’s not the end of the world) but they are not too exciting: the veggie curry (unless it’s a curry house I don’t want to eat curry really), the plant based burger (often my choice when there’s nothing else) and veggie bowl.

So I opted for a tapas style dinner and ordered 3 starters: cream of celeriac soup (I can never resist celeriac soup when on the menu), crispy polenta and burratina. I enjoyed them all very much. The soup was gorgeous, the burrata was fresh and wonderfully paired with the kalamata olives and focaccia. But my favourite has to be the humble polenta. This was a vegan dish I believe, even the mayo dressing, with oyster mushrooms, wilted spinach, truffle cream. It was just perfect. 

I also had a gin cocktail before the meal, which was also nice and REALLY strong and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. 

From the price point of view, this place is a fantastic value for money – maybe that’s why it’s so busy! I paid under £50 for my meal and two drinks included service charge and given the location, I think it’s a great value.

restaurant review bill

Service

The service was super fast and professional. I was late – but luckily I still found my table available 15 minutes later even though the restaurant was nearly on full capacity at 6pm. Everything came quick and served at the right temperature. When I asked for the bill, it arrived 5 minutes later. The staff was very professional and friendly.

old compton brasserie london restaurant

old compton brasserie london restaurant

Ambient

I wasn’t made to feel rushed even though I was only a single person table and even though the restaurant was busy. Then Old Compton has a very relaxed style, with simple table setting and totally casual. Everything was very clean and the staff like I said was very efficient, they cleaned up tables very quickly. There’s no certain style or even a direction of interior look. Everything is decorated a bit randomly but overall the look is friendly and inviting. The bar looks a bit out of space as it’s quite grand. So is the beautiful but very random tile decor in the ladies’. 

I thought I’d be back because the Old Compton is perfect for a quick theatre meal and the food was nice.

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