I have a friend, Sophie, who is working with a restaurant. The restaurant in question is Whyte and Brown (Yes, Whyte and Brown. Said like white and brown). It’s in Soho, just off Carnaby Street, and it’s a chicken and craft beer restaurant. She thought I might like it and suggested I go, so when Mum stayed overnight with me on Monday I took her down to try it out.
What she’s drinking there, by the way, is a white wine spritzer. It has grapefruit bitters in it! Mum thought it was a bit perfume-y, but I think it’s rather delicious (and my colleague Antonia agrees).
We shared some olives to start.
I wasn’t a fan of this — particularly the olives on the bottom, which were squishy and mushy. I thought it was because I’m not the world’s biggest olive fan anyway, but Mum didn’t really like it either. But never mind — starters!
When Antonia went, she had mussels.
In her own words, “The portion size was disappointing – punchy with flavour but small. I wanted a bit more”. This was in total opposition to the experience mum and I had, though…
This was Mum’s beetroot salad, which she promptly starting shovelling into her mouth as quickly as possible. That’s fried goat cheese nestling in amongst all that rocket, by the way. Yum.
These are southern-fried chicken goujons. I really liked them, particularly with the paprika mayonnaise. Soft moist chicken on the outside, crisp batter on the outside, a lift from the lemon juice…it was lovely.
For mains, Antonia had a BBQ Chicken Bap which again she wasn’t a fan of. I had a chicken, bacon and leek burger which was, quite frankly, enormous.
It was also a bit odd. The patty itself seemed weirdly dry, even though when I picked my burger up to eat it a lot of juice seemed nice. It was nothing that a smear of sauce couldn’t sort out, though, and the almost-sweet bun was lovely.
Mum had the Twisted Souvlaki with chicken, which is a chargrilled marinated kebab with smash aubergine and feta salad, tazatiki, smoked hummus and warm flat bread. I only had a tiny taste (after a filling starter and a huge burger, I was fairly full at this point) but it seemed nice, and Mum was practically licking the plate.
We also bought a portion of chips and a portion of sweet potato chips to share, because my burger didn’t come with chips. Why two portions of chips, though? Well, I panicked when I wanted to see what the sweet potato ones were like rather than having straight chips. Whoops. The sweet potato chips were good, though — slightly cold but soft on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside without being greasy.
When it came to dessert, I was sorely tempted by a white chocolate and clementine cheesecake (totally stealing that idea and making one myself, btw) but ended up sharing a salted caramel chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice-cream. I just couldn’t resist that combination of words.
Isn’t it pretty? I’m usually quite scornful of popping random herbs on top of things (I’m looking at you, parsley on the chicken goujons) but chewing a mint leaf after a rich, chocolatey pudding like that always settles my tummy slightly. The ice-cream was heavenly, creamy and sweet, and something that went beautiful with the rich and fudgy fondant. My only complaint with the fondant is that there wasn’t enough goo inside, it was very cakey, but it was such a nice cake that this is barely a complaint.
Dessert seemed to be a winner all round, actually — Antonia had the lemon curd tart and said it was lovely the “best course of (her) meal”.
So, whilst the food wasn’t mind blowing, it was nice. I was satisfied with everything, and delighted with that chocolate fondant. The burger was the weakest out of everything we had — and Mum was really happy with her two courses. The bill came to £73.13, including service.
We were seated upstairs, but there’s a downstairs bar area too. Our table looked out over Kingly Court, which was full of twinkly lights and will be even more gorgeous once all the scaffolding has been removed. Yes, that is a mental note to go back once again.
The lighting in the restaurant was low and intimate, the decor comfortable and quirky. Mum was particularly enamoured with the loos, where you have three cubicles for men, three cubicles for women and a big communal hand-washing trough in the centre. She mentioned this at least four times during and after the meal.
Plus, the service was excellent. Our cheery, buoyant sever Daisy was all smiles and chat the whole way through, and when we interacted with other members of staff throughout the meal everyone was lovely. Antonia had the same experience when she went.
All in all — a good night. I’d go again if I was hungry and in the area, particularly for breakfast where I want to try a chicken breakfast sausage…
I went to Whyte and Brown on the recommendation of my friend, but I wasn’t paid or comped for this review.