Friday, 21 November 2008

Princi - Soho, London

It's been one very long week. And I'm just glad it's the weekend. Really glad, actually :)

There were a few good meals and a few bad ones this week. One of the highlights was the discovery of Princi, an Italian bakery on Wardour Street, which I read about at World Foodie Guide. I don't usually venture into Soho for food - mainly because there's just too much choice and my mind goes numb with having to make decisions. The few times I have eaten eaten in Soho have been pretty bad experiences. Example - Meze on Wardour Street. I went there a few years ago and experienced some terrible service. When I had the audacity to send back a dish where the bacon was still raw (not pink, raw!), I was treated with contempt by the staff who very nicely made sure the bacon was burnt when they brought the dish back. Ahh yes, it wasn't even replaced.

Princi - Soho, London

I know there are some really good places to eat in Soho and I think I'm going on a mission to find out for myself. First stop, Princi. I was really impressed when we arrived. The floor to ceiling glass exterior showcased the stone and granite interior - very chic, very modern. But the real beauties lay on the long counters. Trays upon trays and bountiful baskets of pastries, breads, salads and further along, the hot food counter. Ooo where to start? What to order? To eat in or to take out? I had originally planned to grab lunch from Pinci one day, so this trip was really to see what they had on offer. And the worst decision of the evening was to buy a few pastries and move on somewhere else for dinner. As we were still clueless on where to head to, with so many restaurants with queues during the dinner peak, we walked into Amalfi. Such a bad, bad move. The meal was atrocious. Unsatisfied and disgruntled (the meal wasn't cheap!) we headed back to Princi for dessert.

Princi Interior - Soho, London

At 7PM, Princi was bustling with some who come in for dinner, some who had stopped by for an after work drink. At 9PM, it was even more crowded - mainly with those who were having leisurely drinks, a bit of a chinwag and were none too keen on vacating their seats. Tactics came into play here. One person keeps a lookout (preferably from one of the 'perching' granite tables, no seats just standing - just in case a seat does not avail itself) and another goes to the food. When a table does become available, well... you know what to do.. grab it! Yes, a little extreme but I guess I can't help it. Years of training in hot, crowded coffeeshops in Malaysia will teach anyone to bag a table.

Rustici - Princi in Soho, London

First up, a savoury order of rustici (£1.20 for 3). Little puff pastry bites filled with either spinach and cheese or ham and cheese. They were both dissapointing but the spinach ones did fare slightly better than the ham bites, which were overly salty and not much else. They had been lying around for some time and had gone cold.

Passion Fruit Cheesecake - Princi in Soho, London

The passion fruit cheesecake (£3.50) on the other hand was really quite divine. The fragrance and the tartness of the passion fruit filled the mouth with every bite. The cheese filling was light as air (I had actually forgotten it was supposed to be a cheesecake - there I kept thinking it was a passion fruit mousse!).

Chocolate Pear Crostata- Princi in Soho, London

We had originally bought the pear and chocolate tart (£3.00) to go earlier in the evening. It did go and it come back again :) The pear still had a bite to it and the chocolate it was set in reminded me of a brownie, a slightly nutty brownie - made with ground hazelnut. The nuttiness was only ever so slight. It was a good tart but definitely took second place to the passion fruit cheesecake.

I also bought myself a pain au chocolat for breakfast the next day, which I heated up on to of the toaster at work. Ohh sooo good! Crisp and flaky with oozy chocolate. Emm!

Will I be going back? Hell ya! Haha... I'm already planning what I'll be ordering and a slice of courgette pizza will probably be one of the items. It did look awfully good!

135 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0UT


Shazeea said...

This is a coincidence. I am a Malaysian on holiday in London and went to Princi this evening with a couple of friends. I'm blogging about it and want to find a link. Then I come across your blog.

Luscious Temptations said...

Hi Shazeea

Hope you had a good holiday and thanks for stopping by. What do you think of Princi?

Shazeea said...

It was gorgeous, the almond and jam tart I had was very good. Wish there was space to sit and have a coffee though. It was pretty packed when we were there.

Helen Yuet Ling Pang said...

Glad you liked it! I've been back a few times since, and wish they would serve the hot food at the correct temperature, eg hot. But it's still a great place to go. Can't wait to go back for that passionfruit cheesecake...

Luscious Temptations said...

Shazeea - I think Princi is always crowded with lots of people keeping an eye out for tables. There do seem to be 'pockets' during the day when business slows down slightly .. right after the lunch rush (maybe?) that is probably the best time to go. So far I've had to resort to pouncing on the 1st seat that comes available. Typical Malaysian coffeeshop style :)

Helen - I loved it! :) I've got a few of my friends drooling too hehe.. Yes, I've noticed some of the food gets a little cold but I love how there's always a tray of something hot that's just come out of the oven. I'm determined to try the courgette pizza slice the next time I'm there!

Anonymous said...

The food was delicious. I'm visiting from The USA and found this place and had to try it. Definitely gonna go there again. :)