Right the title speaks for itself and I shall not ramble. There you go – all the cheap ones I have recently come across in and around Soho.
Canape-looking open-top “German” sandwiches priced at £1 per piece. Handsome toppings on soft white bread. All made at the premise. While one quid won’t get you caviar, you can still indulge in the look of it. I’d say, don’t take MD too seriously. I had the crab(stick), the caviar with egg and the roast beef with horseradish sauce. Not bad flavouring. I can see some thought process put into it. Quite a departure from Pret-a-Manger opposite but won’t get you as filled up. Personally I think it’s more suitable for office parties than grab ‘n go lunch.
If you’re not into sandwiches, they also do Special of the Day savoury strudel.
Can anybody confirm if this little boiled thingy place owned by Baozi Inn? It is right next to the restaurant and gives away plastic bags with the Baozi Inn trademark. The sign says “Beijing Street Food”. This anonymous hole in the wall sells vegetables and fish balls on skewers. All priced at 90p. They are snacks not meals. Not the greatest quality or the largest portion of food you’ll find. Fish balls, for example, there seem to be four half-ball pieces. These skewers are dunked into a caldron of bubbling spiced chilli broth for a few minutes. This broth I must say is quite intense in flavours as everything is boiled in it and the broth itself becomes the best kind of stock. For your skewers, you can opt for extra chilli power dust and chopped coriander. I’d say quite lovely in autumn or winter.
If you’d like something more substantial to go, you can also grab the buns from Baozi Inn. Quite nice.
Their sign says “Beirut street food”. This little Lebanese cafe tucked between peep shows and porn dungeons is nowhere near the glorious magnitude of Beirut Express. Atmospheric setup killed by nonchalant service. All the rolls – Shawarma included – are pre-wrapped and toasted. Served with garlic cream and chilli sauce. How good? Imagine Starbucks pannini but with Lebanese fillings. I had a lamb Shawarma. Dry lamp. Limp vegetable fillings. I am not keen!!
Yalla Yalla also does a separate freshly prepared menu which I was not informed when I was there. Good selection of Middle Eastern sweets but uninspiring in flavours.
Bibimbap for a heavier kind of lunch. A small cafe with a hell lot of Polaroid images of their happy customers on the wall. That’s some effective visual testimonials. Their specialities are the bibimbap which usually feature many kinds of cooked vegetable in aromatic sesame oil with a meat topping of your choice. All served in a hot and heavy stone bowl. My beef bibimbap (£9.45) was a spectacle. An almighty bowl of food. Good balance between the fluffy rice and the delectable toppings. Usually go for an extra of raw egg. Pop in and stir to cook. A dollop of chilli sauce. Gosh – this is my kind of heaven. I also like their “Nutritious” toppings (£7.95) including many exotic nuts (ginko, chestnuts, etc.). Flavour and quality wise, I must say I am impressed. The ribbons of beef are of decent quality. Plus, the execution is far more superior than another express Bibimbab Cafe in Bloombury. That said, side dishes at Bibimbap, such as pan fried dumplings (Mandoo), were so so..
Before and .. after the mixing!!
That’s it. Will come back with more compilation of Soho Cheap Eat
My head rating for MD’s, Baozi Inn, Yalla Yalla and Bibimbap says, “6, 6, 6 and 8″.
My heart rating in the same order says, “5, 7, 5 and 7″.
38 William IV Street
Tel. 020 7240 0622
25 Newport Court
Tel. 020 7287 6877
1 Greens Court
Tel. 020 7287 7663
11 Greek Street
Tel. 020 7287 3434