Soho is a rabbit warren of weird and wonderful restaurants so strolling its streets in search of a place to eat can be a mind-boggling experience. Hence the need for Soho staples, one of which is the delightful and ever reliable Blanchette.
A French restaurant owned and run by three French brothers (Maxime, Malik and Yannis), Blanchette looks to its roots in both decor (tiles of French pastoral scenes) and dishes (crispy frogs’ legs). The interior is simple, with exposed brick walls, wooden tables and chairs, and a smattering of wildflowers. Choose between the bar at the front and the dining room at the back – or, if you’re a big group, the hand-painted Jungle Room downstairs.
The menu is split into simple sections: snacks, charcuterie, cheese and small plates (fish, meat and vegetable). Fishy favourites? The black squid, served with a zingy lemon-and-caper dressing, and the rare grilled tuna with Provençal aubergines and tenderstem broccoli. Meat plates include confit duck leg with fresh fig, beetroot and watercress. And vegetable? All you need know is that this section features frites and Béarnaise.
As you would expect from any fine French place, there’s a tasty selection of wine (and cocktails). And when it comes to pudding? One apple, almond and puff pastry tarte fine with a blob of vanilla ice cream.
Blanchette, 9 D’Arblay Street, London, W1F 8DR.