Cafe Boheme is all about that wonderful Parisian/French Cafe culture and has just had a refit along with its owner Soho House.
The menu, is, as you’d expect, covered in nothing but the classic French dishes. While sadly no frogs legs, you’ll find Steak Tartare, Escargot, Croque Monsieur, Pate, Salmon Rillettes, Toulouse Sausages, Poulet Frites, Moules Mariniere. Happily it’s very well priced with every plate less than £20.
Always a fan of Escargot (£9) they were a perfect example of the French classic, and the wondrous powers of garlic and parsley butter to raise something small and simple to delirious heights. The addition of lardons added a salty umami quality to the large plum tender snails. And as ever the melted butter was calling for bread to soak it up.
The rare Ribeye, Frites and Béarnaise (£19) with its juices mingling with the golden, crisp outside fluffy inside, frites was again a faultless example of this ubiquitous French Cafe dish. The steak was perfectly seasoned, charred and the fat rendered and flavourful, while the comically large steak knife made for some amusement. The béarnaise was rich though lacking in a little acid and tarragon.
When we arrived the front cafe and outside was full and humming to the summer sounds of the live steel drum. The restaurant area was somewhat dead but as more customers arrived over the next half hour the atmosphere grew and the cafe oozed the cafe culture to recreate. All helped by the dark wood, classic cafe chairs and the mix of marble topped tables and the brass and steel covered bar.
Sadly the staff also had that Parisian cafe quality too. It could take a while to get their attention just to order or get another glass of water. When you could get them to serve you they could be a little surly at first. The saving grace was that they were certainly efficient when they actually did serve you.
The food is spot on, service very French. It’s perfect for when you’re next jonesing for Paris and for a good time with friends.
Score – ★★★/5
Cost – £95 for 2 (Food: £55, Drinks: £30, Service: £10)
13 Old Compton Street,