Permanently Closed - Arbutus

4
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1533 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Modern European

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Pre/post Theatre

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - Arbutus is a bustling modern bistro with a stylish décor and contemporary feel. Its focus on modern artwork and design ties it closely to the fashionable neighbourhood of Soho. Arbutus opened in May 2006 as the first project of Anthony Demetre and Will Smith with a simple but unique idea: to create a fresh, seasonal and affordable menu of the best quality and spectacular flair. The project proved to be a great success, earning Arbutus a Michelin star in January 2007.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Modern European
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Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday: 12pm - 2:30pm; 5pm - 11pm
Friday - Saturday: 12pm - 2:30pm; 5pm - 11:30pm
Sunday: 12pm - 3pm; 5:30pm - 10:30pm
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Phone number
020 7734 4545
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Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Executive Chef
Anthony Demetre
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Area
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Cross Street
next to Soho Square
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Parking Details
Please be aware that parking space is very limited. There are meters at Soho Square and the charge is £1.00 per 15 minutes. There is an NCP Car Park on Brewer Street open 24 hours, and in Chinatown, just south of Shaftesbury Avenue.
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Public Transit
Nearest Tube Stations: Tottenham Court Road (5 minutes), Piccadilly Circus (10 minutes), From Leicester Square (10 minutes)
Additional
Bar Dining, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1533 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0based on all time ratings
4.2
food
3.9
service
3.7
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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London
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2016
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Well this is totally pointless since it shut the day after!

JC
Dorset
3 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was amazing. And really good value, particularly the pre-theatre. The menu is small, but everything myself and my wife had was delicious. Service was great.

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on 18 June 2016
Overall1food3service1ambience1

One of the worst dining experience in London. We had to check we were in the right place, rated with a Michelin star, to be sure.
Wine menu starts by mentioning that 'the list is short but we make everyone available by the glass and the carafe' - in fact out of 25ish white and the same number of reds, only 4 of each can be ordered by the glass. Well, 3 whites in fact since one is out of stock. And nothing else on offer - 'you can go for the Sicilian white ' which we don't know and ask more about , to be told 'well it's the cheapest reference on the menu' as a single descriptive comment. Ok then.
But we 're told that 'the restaurant is closing next week so we're not replenishing stocks'. Ok then.
Surely it's because the restaurant is closing, but most waiters and even the manager that night seem careless.
We are still drinking our aperitif, haven't ordered wine for the meal that the 3 starters pop up 5 minutes after we placed the order. Rushing it then!
It's 9.30pm and while there hasn't been many customers that Friday night, waiters start to pull out the bins in the middle of the restaurant, just in front of our tables. We ask them of maybe they can wait until we're not here anymore, having dinner for then to sort it out. The music stopped, it seems that's it for the night. It's all about waiters chit chating , emptying busy and apparent waiting for us to leave. We haven't eaten our starter yet.
Once the main come and we ask for some more bread, we're told 'of course but well charge you for this ' - ok that happened in some places. I guess I wasn't expecting it from a Michelin star restaurant which sells itself as a Brasserie.
An other round of bin emptying goes by, we skip dessert obviously and ask to talk to the manager about our experience. Unmoved, she tells that that ' the staff needs to stay until 10.30pm anyway ' and that 'the music comes from a Sonos' as it should be an excuse for letting it stop at 9.30pm
Terrible experience. Food good but not 1star

JS
London
2 reviews
Dined on 18 June 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience3

This restaurant is a favourite of ours and the food is always delicious. Strangely, my husband and I are vegetarians and this is a very meaty menu but there is always some fish or one veggie dish and it is always fantastic. We often take our sons who love the meat. The chocolate mousse pudding is to die for.

i
London
7 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2016
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Food was very good and the price is decent for this area. However, the service lets this restaurant down. Very cold, unprofessional manager and waiters and all in all we did not feel welcome. The service is very far from deserving a michelin star.

NG
Italy
3 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2016
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent food for a surprisingly reasonable price. Excellent wine selection and great cocktails, would definitely recommend.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 17 June 2016
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The Staff were very friendly and even though we arrived early, we were led straight to our table.

All 3 courses were excellent and I have shared my experience with friends and colleagues.

Good value and well worth another visit.

TH
London
1 review
Dined on 17 June 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very good pre- theatre meal especially as I was on my own. The food was very good and cooked perfectly, the service was very good if only a little too keen. My only complaint is having checked the wine list on line the one I was handed was not the same and had fewer carafes, which was a shame as that was one of the reasons I picked Arbutus. Also I wasn't handed the cocktail list which is a shame as I would have ordered one!

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 17 June 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A wonderful and affordable lunch. Was able to get a fairly last minuet reservation, hoping to enjoy a few course meal that wouldn't break the bank. Arbutus did not disappoint. Friendly and attentive staff plus affordable 3 course options. Try the black pudding!

CW
London
1 review
Dined on 14 June 2016
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The food at Arbutus is always excellent and the gnudi for main and chocolate mousse for dessert were both well up to standard. The only grumble is that the dining room can be very noisy, even when not full, as the minimalist decor contains little in the way of soft furnishings that might take the edge off the echoes of conversation, laughter etc. Service is understated and largely efficient. The bread is to die for.

M
London
28 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Came here for a business lunch. 3 courses for under £50 each, perfect sizes for a nice lunch with helpful, friendly and attentive staff.

Food was outstanding. Would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.

g
London
2 reviews
Dined on 11 June 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Beware where you sit, one side was quite cool but the other side of the restaurant felt ten degrees warmer, we moved after being sat there for only a few minutes. Not sure if there was a problem with the aircon.

Food was lovely, charming waiters, meal for two cost £100 with a few classes of prosecco each - so not cheap but good for an occasion.

v
London
1 review
Dined on 11 June 2016
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Amazing food and service however everything was overshadowed by the airconditioning not working in the restaurant! Would have been nice to of been offered to sit in the bar where it was working which we only found out when we left! Food outstanding hope they have fixed it as far too hot to enjoy it properly

G
London
100 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2016
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Our visit to Arbutus was pre- theatre. We have dined there a number of times before. We love the atmosphere there and the professional and friendly service. The food, as ever, was excellent. The wine list is also good value. All in all, a class act

JH
London
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2016
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We have eaten here a few times over the last few years, usually pre theatre. Our first table location by the window was marred by a large noisy group behind us. So we had to move and the staff were most helpful. Cocktails are variations on old favourites and a great way to start off the meal. Starters were good and I must commend the Cod. Top cooking. Wines were OK. I would recommend the restaurant but the low ceilings make a table near any large group quite painful... It may not be as good as it was 3 years ago but still worth going.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 7 June 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing food, and great value for the excellent food!!

S
Gloucestershire
10 reviews
Dined on 28 May 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We made our reservation quite late so we were very lucky to get a table on a Saturday evening. Some of our party were running late but this wasn't a problem and the waiting staff were very accommodating. The service was very good, food excellent (not too much choice from the menu which I like) and the whole ambience relaxed. I would definitely recommend this place but it is essential to book.

HL
London
167 reviews
Dined on 28 May 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It's such beautiful food that they bring and, considering the beauty, it's not tiny portions but reasonable enough to leave feeling satisfied.


The set menu isn't the cheapest, but the food is so good it's worth it. Have I said I love Arbutus? Well I do! Without a doubt I'll be back.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Booked inadvance for pre-theatre lunch 2 course £20...absolute bargain. Food was lovely...surprisingly filling and super tasty £86 for 3 people with a drink each + service

IB
London
194 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2016
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Excellent food on a surprisingly quiet evening!

A
London
2 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2016
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Booked a table for two pre theatre menu as a birthday surprise. Friendly greeting from all the staff and swiftly directed to a table by the window. The food was delicious. A beautiful balance of flavours. Beautiful presentation. The starters in particular were incredible and the custard tart is a must try. The cocktails were on the expensive side but tasty. The only downside was the waiter seemed unfriendly when asked about the food and didn't know much about the ingredients (which I would expect from a Michelin star restaurant). Would definitely recommend this restaurant but be prepared to not understand the words on the menu!

MA
Aberdeen
3 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We booked on my daughters suggestion as she is gluten free, we all thought the food was amazing and you would never know it was gluten free. Good value for pre theatre meal. Very helpful staff . We will return the next time we are in London.

HC
London
2 reviews
Dined on 7 May 2016
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Delicious quail starter

N
London
26 reviews
Dined on 6 May 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved everything when we are dining there. Nice ambience and quality is good!

RD
London
2 reviews
Dined on 30 April 2016
Overall3food3service2ambience3

For a pre-theatre treat the fixed price menu is excellent value. Wine by the carafe is a way of trying new things and the wine waiter was very helpful with his recommendations. The front of house welcome need to be worked on, though - we almost didn't stay!

j
London
270 reviews
Dined on 23 April 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Saturday lunch in Arbutus was a great success. We ate from the small but perfectly adequate fixed price menu. The service was fine and the food delicious, well prepared and presented.

RM
London
32 reviews
Dined on 22 April 2016
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Meeting friends pre-theatre, central location. Not much atmosphere when we arrived, as empty ( we were quite early), but filled up by the time we left. Food was super, different combinations of ingredients, all worked well, nice portion sizes for ladies! My favourite was the artichoke salad starter: delicious. Most of the service was good, but the sommelier was poor. We ordered a second bottle of wine, he was going to pour it into our existing glasses, and we had to ask to try it. It was completely different to the first (an improvement), and yet he still tried to top up our existing glasses. Tasting a wine and new glasses should be a given in a restaurant of this quality! It suggests he wasn't trained or supervised.....disappointing feature of an otherwise enjoyable meal.

S
London
168 reviews
Dined on 17 April 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very Good family meal at Arbutus. The restaurant is always dependable, friendly and reasonably priced for the quality of the cooking

e
London
1 review
Dined on 16 April 2016
Overall2food2service2ambience3

liked starts and desert, but not the main. when I asked for new potatoes as a side I was told that the restaurant doesn't have potatoes (nor did they have chips). wines were disappointing and overpriced. overall poor value.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 15 April 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I had lunch at Arbutus with my parents. The restaurant was picked by having a look at the menu on the internet and my noticing that it offers a 23- and a 26-pound menu. For these menus, you have only two options for each course. So, we finally decided to have lunch "à la carte". We all had a three-course meal and everything was absolutely fabulous. The cooking of both meat and fish was mastered at an excellent point, the starters were very interesting, the desserts maybe a bit simple but perfectly realized. I strongly recommend!

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 14 April 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great quality food rather than quantity. Great wine and nice selection.

DB
London
37 reviews
Dined on 8 April 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A delightful restaurant, in the centre of Soho. Service is always impeccable as is the food. Had a lovely evening celebrating a friends birthday. You must try the apple tart tatin - looks amazing (though they had ran out by the time we finished our main course) - much to our disappointment. At least we have a reason to go again. We won't leave it quite as long this time.

d
London
6 reviews
Dined on 6 April 2016
Overall2food3service1ambience2

We have been to Arbutus several times over the past few years, and also its sister restaurant Wild Honey. I much liked the quiet but professional ambience and superb food. I took our daughter their last Wednesday. It was curiously flat. The waiters were young and ours seem baffled when I asked him to recommend a wine. Usually in the past the waiter or sommelier would have been pleased to offer an opinion. My main course arrived cold and the waiter seemed astonished when I pointed this out.

The meal and ambience were curiously flat which is a pity as this used to be a great restaurant.

OT
London
4 reviews
Dined on 5 April 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Atmosphere was a little sterile but the food was excellent and decent value when buying from the lunch menu.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 3 April 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food, service, ambiance all blended together to make it a perfect evening meal. Thank you.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 2 April 2016
Overall1food3service3ambience1

Portions sizes were tiny and totally underwhelming, it was also half empty despite being a Saturday night so the venue had no atmosphere whatsoever. Our waiter who had been brilliant suddenly disappeared mid evening for no reason which was odd and we never saw him again. Final bill for the two of us was very expensive and just not worth it. Will not be going back any time soon as there are much better places to go in Soho

R
London
44 reviews
Dined on 29 March 2016
Overall4food5service3ambience3

The pre-theatre menu is great - carefully and lovingly prepared food, beautifully presented and yummy. Although the service was wonderfully friendly -- from the lovely young woman at reception to the food and wine waiters -- it was painfully slow especially for pre-theatre. It was 40 minutes before our starter arrived. Yes, it was worth the wait in terms of taste and quality. But could have been stressful had we arrived later than 5.45. We'll go back.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 28 March 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service and food were top notch! The room was quiet, but few other tables were there with us despite the Bank Holiday (we went for dinner) and nevertheless all service staff was absolutely on top of the game.
My mum only ordered main, so did I... But I wish I had had the whole menu!
Her pork looked fantastic. Presentation was beautiful and the flavours well combined, as always with Demetre's recipes. My lamb, on a bed of tiny green beans (forgot what they are called...) and pancetta, was absolutely perfect. Tender, pink, flavourful and balanced. I can still recollect the taste.
The staff was friendly, as I mentioned not distracted at all, but good presence in the room.
Can't wait to go back!!

AP
London
1 review
Dined on 28 March 2016
Overall4food4service3ambience2

The pre -theatre menu is both very good and very good value, though the rabbit confit was disappointing both in taste and texture. Cocktails are also very good, if on the pricey side and arrived with the meal.

L
London
124 reviews
Dined on 27 March 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant has been around for a while, and I had been a few times and always liked its food, style, interior design - but this time they really charmed me: after making the reservation 30 minutes before the lunch, they not only knew about my intolerances, told me that they could adjust the food I had chosen without a problem- but after lunch they brought truffles without gluten/ dairy/ egg - absolutely wonderful!!