It’s no cliffhanger what address a venue called 100 Wardour Street might have. However, what comes with an address such as this is quite the iconic status: previously home to Floridita, Carom and more famously Marquee Club, this new Soho spot has got a lot to live up to if it’s going to match what was once the revered great-grandaddy of rock venues.
And it keeps one thing solid as a rock: the size. 100 Wardour Street is breathtakingly enormous — just like their owners, top restaurant and hotel group D&D. There’s enough capacity for 425 dining covers and up to 870 for events —and most likely still room for elbows.
The two floors have been given a lavish makeover, with the ground floor an all-day restaurant, lounge and cocktail bar and downstairs devoted to food in the evening, with live music and DJs. The décor of leather armchairs, batik patterned carpets, black fireplaces, and lamps adorned with tassels help to create a somewhat eclectic and colourful atmosphere; yet, it’s still quite dim and perhaps for a dining space upstairs, too slight for the eyes. The spoon will not cut that pork belly, FYI.
Speaking of food, the menu is a constellation of European and Asian dishes: confusingly so, dishes are designed to share, yet the divide between snacks, appetisers, sandwiches, flatbreads, pasta and mains, is cause for a waiter call to explain. And that they do: politely and affectionately so. They reiterate that the focus here is on simplicity, quality and fresh, honest flavours (and evidently a bias to chorizo, a common theme on the menu), so order as you please and share only if you fancy. Rightio.
For “appetiser”, we opted for the favoured “Grilled Chorizo, Roquette and tomato salad” and the “Crispy Fried Squid” — perhaps slightly heavy on the batter, but otherwise pleasantly crispy and refreshing with the chilli and lime giving it an extra zing.
Suggestions came left right and centre for the restaurant’s thus far most-lauded dish: the pork belly, albeit we bucked that trend and went for the “Veal Ragu” and “Baked Chilli Crab”. Neither a crash-landing of amazing, however tasty and satisfying — both clearing the dish. Food envy kicked in hard core though: the neighbouring tables harboured pork belly plates that did look darn good. *must take waiter advice*
And when presented with the idea of dessert, one must oblige —if only to experience the full scope of 100 Wardour Street’s dining. We learnt our lesson here: eyeing off aforementioned neighbour’s dishes, we opted for the “Chocolate Ganache”. A chocoholic’s dream dessert, it’s intensely rich and moorish. Delicious. For something lighter, opt for the “Sorbet sundae”— a refreshing palate cleanser that will certainly curb any sugar craving you may have.
Drinks wise- the cocktail menu is extensive and impressive. Classics and classics with a twist: the award goes to the “100”, a delightful take on the amaretto sour, with a hint of fig to take the edge off the sweetness of the amaretto. Totally hashtag worthy.
The large venue has got great potential —the menu might be a bit non-committal, and there might be some new opening cracks that could be sheened; albeit the ambience is privy to a great night out with colleagues, friends or London visitors. There’s a great drinks list to keep you all happy, easy snacks to sate the appetite and live jazz music downstairs ups the vibe with raucous, dancing tunes.
It’s a fun place 100 Wardour Street and plays tribute to its predecessors by continuing to keep the party alive in the heart of Soho. Nice one.
100 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1F 0TN
The Lounge is open from 9am till late from Monday to Saturday
The Club is open Tuesday to Wednesday 5pm to 2am; Thursday to Saturday 5pm to 3am