Celebrating special occasions is harder to do with a ‘No Reservations’ sort of place – nothing kills a party more than standing outside a restaurant waiting to be let in! So in eager beaver haste, the sister & I rush to Bo Drake on a Friday evening after work to find the place only just gearing up for the night ahead and allowing us our choice of seatings. There’s a cosy little nook at the back suited to groups and dark deeds, but low lighting is Blogger Kryptonite, so I move us right up front where the action is.
Service here is so much more than just with a smile – our menfolk are late, very late and our charming waitress Martina takes it upon herself to berate them for leaving us lovely ladies sat at the table for so long, waiting for them to appear! Suitably told off, it’s only fitting that a bottle of Prosecco is ordered to start the celebrations off for my sister’s engagement!
The menu here is Asian BBQ fusion sharing plates – it’s a blend of Korean and Japanese flavours, about right given this is a Jan Lee establishment, an ex Roka man. Martina proves to be a lot of help here and steers us in the direction of dishes she thinks are the best example of what Bo Drakes has to offer – but explaining the flavours of each dish so we can counter that with ones we prefer the sound of, or equally anything we’re not keen on.
To start us off, we have Kimchi Quesadillas, Brisket Bao, Mushroom Tostada and the signature dish Bo San. The Brisket Bao is a bit bready and overwhelms the tender meat but for me, everything else is pure gold. Not everyone is in favour of the Kimchi Quesadillas, but they’re an innovative, fresh & zingy take on the traditional slightly greasy Quesadilla. Similarly the mushroom tostadas are so simple but fresh and lively and the Bo San has the most amazing flavoured heap of pulled pork to liberally pile onto lettuce leaves.
For mains as it were, we opt for a couple of portions of the Lamb cutlets, we go for a bit of a meat fest. Pork Ribs, a couple of portions of the Lamb Cutlets, a rib-eye steak, washed down with some cauliflower and sweet potato fries.
The lamb cutlets come highly recommended and ordering 2 plates of these is a good idea to share amongst the group. Pork Ribs are meaty and are begging to be picked up and gnawed into! If I had a complaint, it would be that the cauliflower could use with being a meatier portion for the group but it all melds together so well.
At no point are we hurried out, we’re encouraged to relax and finish our drinks and no matter how busy Bo Drake gets, Martina is happy to let us sit and enjoy. Service aside from Martina is a bit bewildered though – a bottle of Prosecco arrives at our table without having ordered it (And not just because they thought we’d like one). We’d like extra food but the flagged down waiter leaves without taking an order. They’re just niggles since we have our favourite staff member to make sure we’re ok, but without her, it would have been annoying!
They’ve only recently opened, so perhaps these are just minor niggles. By the time we head out into the night, the streets of Soho are heaving and we leave very content indeed.