The Handbook
The Handbook

Yin and Yang

By | 2nd February 2010

Two new all day openings are proving – like we needed any proof – that London’s diners have an insatiable appetite for quality grub. The New York nostalgia of Profile Soho is the perfect foil for Boyd’s Brasserie’s old school elegance but you can be sure that both venues have got what it takes to tempt a whole new wave of foodies from their habitual hunting grounds.

Make no mistake, Profile Soho is yellow – but in a good way! The retro bar and diner brings a welcome ray of American sunshine to an oft drab Wardour Street.

Swing by for a round-the-clock breakfast of French Toast with Maple Syrup, Winter Berries & Cinnamon or Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraiche & Spring Onions on Sour Dough. But it doesn’t end there. Further crowd-pleasers include Burgers – from 100% Nude Beef to Minced Lamb and Hot Dogs sure to win the heart of the most hardened New Yorker (Mexican Chilli Cheese anyone? Yep, we thought so!) and that’s before we even get to the Major Meatloaf with Country Apple Stuffing, Sausage & Mash and Macaroni Cheese with Smoked Gouda no less!

Decadent desserts include chewy fudge and chocolate walnut brownies which will have your detox running for the hills but we guarantee are worth every mouthful. Besides, all ingredients are fresh, organic and locally sourced so where you lose out on the sugar you’ll still win brownie points on ethical credentials! And for the really virtuous there are plenty of salads from crispy calamari to dolphin-friendly tuna and you can even eschew the full on Dog for the low carb option – though admittedly that means missing out on the bun and the chunky fries but if you will be a goody two-shoes we applaud your self-discipline!

Seating is spread over bustling banquettes and swivel stools surrounding the central bar at which you can sip on an East Side Manhattan (or six) with Absolut Kurant, Jack Daniels, Cassis Fresco & cranberries or try something so wrong that it’s right in the shape of an alcoholic milkshake – the Mud Slide with Ice Cream, Vodka, Baileys & Kaluha will certainly see you right.

Boyd’s Brasserie in Northumberland Avenue, just a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square is the yin to Profile’s yang. Built way back in 1887 as part of a 500-room grand hotel, the elegant and classical space, once named The Marble Hall, has been given a whole new lease of life.

Owned by Charles Boyd, who brought us Chester Boyd, the high-end caterers which keeps the royals in the standard to which they are accustomed at the Queen’s garden parties, the space has been designed by Noel Piece of PDI, talent behind K West and the Peninsula in Hong Kong. And adjacent to the restaurant stands a double-height bar space housing an impressive black granite affair adorned with antique mirrors.

The all-day brasserie offers a refined take on modern British and French cuisine with dishes including Old Fashioned Chick Broth Vermicelli; Braised Ox Cheek with Celeriac Puree; Confit Leg of Duck and Breast of Free Range Sussex Chicken with Cep Risotto & Truffled Rocket. Desserts too are a right royal affair and feature Fine Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce and Caramelised Banana Waffles. Additional tapas and bar menus will also make for happy snackers!

With these two new recipes for success we’re definitely starting the year as we mean to continue!

Profile Soho, 84-86 Wardour Street, London W1F 0TQ, 020 7734 3444,
Boyd’s Brasserie & Bar, 8 Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5BY, 020 7808 3344