The Ned, Soho House’s newest venture and (I’m told), the place to be eating (and instagramming) in London. Rumours have been flying that to be allowed through its doors you must be a banker or ‘someone’, not the case! Soho House is famous for its no suit policy and the house of creatives, being in the city, they’ve calmed down on the no suits outlook, but I strode in basically dressed like cat woman (lycra is comfy, okay?) and no one bat an eyelid! The ground floor is basically a large, dark food court (slightly reminiscent of Harrods, I must say). Across the sprawling space are 9 restaurants and bars, all with a different focus, from Parisian, to Pan-Asian. My first venture, however, was the Malibu Kitchen, a nod to the raw, vegan, healthy life style of California.
The first thing that hits me about The Ned is how dark it is, I’ve got no clue where I’m going and am not entirely sure who does and doesn’t work here, so I constantly strut through the grand space, buzzing with live music and a whole heap of suited and booted city workers, finally I find my dinner companion, tucked in a dark corner. First thing we both say “ITS SO DARK” (are we in our 20s or our 80s?) The menu is small, but looks DIVINE. We were recently in LA together, so in our element. We aren’t sure how much is appropriate to order and the waitress isn’t all too helpful either, so we just order a few things and hope for the best. The avocado dip (otherwise known as guacamole…), beetroot tartare and young coconut salad were delicious and felt like they were doing a lot of good, totally fresh and full of flavour, lots of citrus and coriander! I’d especially recommend the beetroot (I actually could have eaten a plate of that). Slightly disappointing was the Ceviche, which was a bit tough and not full of flavour, then again, we had both been spoiled by ceviche in central America a few weeks prior, so probably a little hard to please (if you want Ceviche in London, head to Ceviche in Soho). We ordered the courgette ribbons, but sadly, they never arrived, so I could not tell you anymore, other than my assumption that they would have been pesto courgetti? The final plate to arrive was the asparagus with garlic sauce, 5 batons with an underwhelming vaguely garlicy drizzle.
To make up for our lack of courgette, we decided pudding was a must and after a lot of umming and ahhing (they all looked good), we settled on the raw chocolate cake. Now, this did NOT disappoint. I’m often a bit dubious of avocado in cake (I can never quite seem to get it right), but this was perfect, with a delicious balance of creamy, rich decadence and not a hint of avocado aftertaste. Our bill came to around £64.00, without drinks, which given its location, isn’t awful!
My conclusion: I’d definitely go back to the Ned, it’s a great date spot due to the dim lights and masses of foodie choices. The vibe at the ned is fun, with an air of suggested debauchery. I will definitely be back for a few drinks and hopefully to try another one of its offerings! I may change my mind, but if I’m going for one of Soho Houses residencies, I’d rather brunch at the Dean Street Townhouse and Supper at The Chiswick Brasserie!