Mister wanted a Sunday Roast for lunch at Hawksmoor Seven Dials. Little did we know a reservation is a must, regardless how late in the afternoon. Lots of alternatives came up as I dragged my disappointed feet along the Long Acre, still dreamy about the wobbly melt-in-mouth bone marrow: I wasn’t geared up for The Ivy; Fusion Indian at Dishroom seemed too distant from roast beef; Hawksmoor Spitalfields is a million miles away; The Townhouse on Dean Street attracted some hype but…. Blah blah blah. Mister gave up.
Then we stopped at Princi and remember how we had always wanted to give it try; the full length window, wood log piles, never-ending showcase of breads and pastries and most importantly, the constant stream of patrons. Though semi self-service, the staff was ever so patient as I hovered back and forth multiple times along the counter, and Mister just marvelled at my greed.
Pizza con Prosciutto
The pizza base was ever so soft, and had you watched the dough getting kneaded like a feathery pillow, you could imagine how fluffy the bread was, like biting into stretchy air. Even when it cooled, the pizza didn’t harden teeth-cracking ceramics or turn into un-chewable cardboards, just moister bites. I’d happily gnaw on the plain pizza bread, the crispy-edged ham and thick layer of springy cheese just made it too much better than it needed to be. Perhaps not on par with Naples’ Da Michele, but it’s not too far behind.
Roasted Pork Belly with Baby Potatoes
There is also a smaller section at the back with hot comfort food, cannelloni, lasagne and the likes. The pork belly particularly appealed because our stomach was so juiced up for meat. And these roulades were bloody brilliant; heavily crammed with a fragrant herb paste and soaked with an even herbier jus. Okaythese came out from the counter and so weren’t piping hot, but the flavours made up for it. For the sake of my arteries I probably won’t order this on my next visit, but this has given me confidence in Princi’s hot deli.
One of my all-time favourite desserts, and the way Patisserie Valerie does it is just right. This version at Princi has crumblier puff pastries and lots and lots of cream, I mean lots. While I am an avid lover of whipped cream, I think I prefer the custard filling at PV.
Custard Pastry Cornet & Mini Lime & Chocolate Madeleines
The Magdelines weren’t good, stale and tasteless. Lime tasted of handwash liquid and the chocolate ones like cheap chocolate drink powder. The cornet was better, crispy and flaky.
There was nothing Sunday Roast about this late lunch; doesn’t stop it from being a great lunch. Food was plentiful and straight forwardly good, staff wore genuine smiles and absolutely fuss free. It’s a busy place, people linger for seats while other squeeze between stools, yet the ambience was chill; friends catching up over good coffee and cakes, men waiting for their shopping wives, wanderers gazing at the window to absorb the Soho vibes, and of course, hungry couple eating too much food.
135 Wardour Street
Tel: 0207 478 888