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Gauthier Soho review: playful food and fabulous toilets!

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Gauthier Soho review: playful food and fabulous toilets!

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“You can’t have a restaurant in Soho without it being a little bit gay, darling!”

Our wonderful maitre d' at Gauthier Soho

Summary

4.8/5

From the whimsical dishes to the intriguing allure of the men’s toilets, Gauthier Soho was an unforgettable celebration of indulgence, leaving Lucy and me with lingering (albeit hazy) memories of bliss.

Despite its higher price point, I would highly recommend Gauthier Soho; the phenomenal food, delightful atmosphere and exceptional service make it a dining experience worth splurging on.

Lucy is sat at a table in Gauthier Soho. She's leaning her head on one hand and grinning because she is enjoying her experience. There are glasses on the table and a red light behind her
Lucy's infectious grin captures the essence of our truly unforgettable dining experience

Gauthier Soho review

Four courses and five glasses of alcohol down (we’d booked the sommelier wine pairing and had made the mistake? of also ordering a glass of champagne on arrival), it was no surprise that we both needed a trip to Gauthier’s toilet.

Me first.

Giddy with booze, I returned animated and excitably told Lucy about the salacious disco I had discovered in the bathroom. Mirrors and lusty pictures were plastered all over the dark walls whilst the surreal auditory backdrop of 80s dance music was piped through small speakers from the top corners of the cramped room…not the kind of ambience one would usually expect from a multi-award-winning fine dining restaurant!

The maitre d’ must have overheard me as he was bringing out the next dish; placing his hands on the table, he leant towards us and whispered conspiratorially, “Have you seen the men’s toilet yet?”

Blank faces.

“No?” he exclaimed, “It’s fabulous. You have to see it!”

He left us wondering how we were going to take a sneak peek into the boy’s room (thankfully, that opportunity arose later) as we tucked into another exquisite course.

The food was outstanding. My favourite had to be the bowl of thick and creamy Aïgo Boulido that could scare away even the most bloodthirsty vampire. Traditionally enriched with eggs, this vegan version was rich enough without the addition of a chicken’s period. I could have supped on this concentrated interpretation of Provençal soup by the bucketload.

A big bowl with a blob of Aïgo Boulido on top of wild garlic infused oil and crispy moss balanced on top. There is a plate of wild garlic focaccia next to it and you can see the bottom of a wine glass. The Gauthier Soho restaurant is lit with red ambient lighting
A crown of crispy moss adorned the thick and creamy Aïgo Boulido

It was accompanied by the most exquisitely vivid green marbled focaccia, made by expanding the dough and letting the wild garlic and rocket olive oil seep through the holes. I was also delighted by the nest of crispy moss that was delicately balanced on top of the Aïgo Boulido, which I’d never come across on a dinner plate before.

Having been fortunate enough to indulge in culinary delights at restaurants around the world, I must say that I’ve encountered my fair share of plant-based ingredients. However, Gauthier’s artistry lies not only in the selection of diverse plants but also in his ability to transform them into extraordinary gastronomic creations; I was captivated by how the chefs had skilfully cooked and presented plants in ways that brought out new flavours and textures, creating a truly unique dining experience.

A bowl of ice carries two saucers of chilled watercress broth. There is a tray of potato vol au vents with kelp caviar. You can see Lucy sat at the other side of the table in the background with a glass of champagne
A bowl of refreshing watercress broth and potato vol au vents with kelp caviar

The Aïgo Boulido was preceded by a chilled watercress broth and tiny spheres of kelp caviar served inside a light and puffy but delectably buttery potato vol au vent. Other standout dishes included the stuffed morels swimming in an umami sauce and crowned with a crunchy, ultra-layered slice of pastry, and the dessert course…an unrivalled symphony of chocolatey bliss that can only be described as a divine orb of orgasmic deliciousness.

Crunchy white asparagus & morel tart with calcot onions

The meal was punctuated by a series of amusing excursions to the facilities. During one of Lucy’s visits, an encounter with the maitre d’ in the hallway led to an impromptu detour into the realm of the men’s toilet…

Emerging from their clandestine adventure, both Lucy and the maitre d’ returned suffering from uncontrollable fits of laughter. It was a moment of shared mirth and camaraderie, adding an unexpected twist to an already memorable dining experience.

In fact, the entire waiting staff displayed an impeccable knack for building rapport. Their mischievous grins and quick-witted banter were unleashed with unrelenting precision, leaving Lucy and me in a constant state of giggles throughout the evening. As introverts, we were astounded by their ability to create such a vibrant and engaging atmosphere.

It was a complete departure from our initial experience. During our first visit, when the restaurant was in its early stages of offering a fully vegan menu alongside animal-based dishes, the food had seemed pallid and confused. However, the transformation has been truly remarkable.

The chocolate dessert we are reviewing at Gauthier Soho. It's a ball of chocolate sat in a puddle of chocolate sauce and there are crunchy nuts in the chocolate
The divine orb of orgasmic deliciousness

After transitioning to a 100% vegan establishment, Gauthier Soho has found its stride and radiates a newfound comfort and confidence in working with purely plant-based ingredients. The food now showcases a playful side that perfectly complements its location in the heart of Soho; our waiter couldn’t have been more spot-on when he gleefully declared, “You can’t have a restaurant in Soho without it being a little bit gay, darling!”

As our tasting menu neared its conclusion, we were both presented with a bottle of lemon and rhubarb fizz, adorned with vibrant rainbow hues, which were ceremoniously poured over our perfectly poached rhubarb sprinkled with lemon pepper. This whimsical creation celebrated diversity and added to the air of playfulness.

The night ended with an unexpected lock-in, giving us a little extra time to enjoy a glass of gratuitous orange wine accompanied by a plate of heavenly madeleines (and a few shots of tequila)…not that we had any space left in our already bulging stomachs.

A bowl of madeleines and crystallised vegan jelly sweets
Our first serving of madeleines served with some delicious vegan jelly sweets

The lock-in was a fitting finale to our unforgettable night, leaving us with lingering (albeit hazy) memories of bliss. After stumbling out into the early hours, feeling a bit sozzled (and our wallets significantly lighter), we can’t deny that the next day’s hangover was one for the books. But let me tell you, it was absolutely worth it.

Our evening at Gauthier Soho was a whirlwind of fabulousness and flair, a true celebration of life’s indulgences.

And, as for the intriguing allure of the men’s toilets…well, you’ll just have to go and see for yourselves, won’t you?

Alice Johnson

Alice Johnson

Writer, scientist, amateur mycologist | I write stuff for a living. Mainly about vegan things, science, fungi, and travel. Find out more at Alice's Cerebrum

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