Randall & Aubin
A lunch on Sun to celebrate a birthday. Upon arrival, despite having booked a table a few days in advance, we were given a choice of a tiny table by the counter at the back or a counter by the entrance. The place is tiny inside and looks like a cross between a Spanish tapas bar and a French bistro. The interior is pleasant but the seating is awkward - high stools, high counters all tucked very close together, so if you don't mind elbowing your neighbours and strangers - it's the place for you. The menus were brought promptly and we chose halibut as a main with calamari as a starter to share. Both dishes arrived quickly enough and looked appetizing. The calamari portion was huge, with large chunks generously breaded and fried just right but the salsa it comes with - whole green peppercorns in tomato sauce - just didn't go well with the dish, so had to ask for some garlic mayo. The fish dish was rather disappointing - instead of a chunky fillet of halibut both of us envisaged, we both got tail ends of the fish, totally bland, bones in and served atop of a slice of what could have been a Spanish potato omelette or else a badly executed gratin dauphinnoise. There were some green peas and beans thrown in as well and the whole plate was doused with an orange shrimp sauce. My friend did well enough but I struggled. People next to us had seafood platters and oysters which looked like a much better choice, so perhaps will give them a second chance. Service was mixed - the French lady was lovely, very helpful, warm and attentive. Another waitress was just meh. Overall not a bad experience but not a great one either.
Meal for one before work. Staff were fantastic and the ambience was wonderful.
Cosy and full of character, this small restaurant has a great selection of sea food and great wines. We especially love it for lunch in the weekends. A great spot for people watching if you seat at the window
When we got to the restaurant the extremely rude host informed us that our reservation was “not there”, maybe we booked a seat at the Manchester branch (?) and that if we wanted we could sit in a corner, where our party clearly didn’t fit, otherwise we could go back out into the raining street and try someplace else willing to serve us.
Clearly our money was not good enough for them, and from the looks of the host, probably because I’m Asian.
Girlfriend ordered a special, monkfish, which was "very nice but very small". I had deep fried haddock and chips - very average.
There's not a visit to this restaurant that does not leave you feeling a warm glow afterwards. It is outstanding on every dimension. Easily one of the best restaurants in London for a fun, counter-style, informal, lunch or dinner with terrific food but, perhaps more impressive and important, absolute spot-on service. It could not be more highly recommended.
Wonderful always - miss the old staff!!
Extremely welcoming and well trained people especially after entering from a huge downpour. A really enjoyable experience.
Great staff, great food - if you like fish there is nowhere better.
Great for a relaxed Sunday lunch in Soho
First time at R&A and thoroughly enjoyed it. Casual setting and friendly vibe. Service was both friendly and professional. After the initial panic of the "high" seating only offered, quickly realised the stools were confortable and plenty of space for the two of us on the ledge for food and wine. We chose the crab cakes as starter to share which were perfectly tasty but nothing to particularly write home about. My friend ordered the dressed crab as her main which to me looked a tinsy bit small but totally suited her smaller apetite and she said was delicious. I ordered the grilled Halibut. The dish was perfectly presented and the fish well cooked. Potatoes slightly on the firm side but all was thoroughly enjoyable. didn't order additional sides. We chose the Vinho Verde on the wine list for a change and it was a great choice - refreshing with a very slight fizz on the tongue, 2 bottles later... Finished off by sharing the Sticky toffee pudding and custard which came presented as a wedge onthe plate. Was expecting something heavy but it was the best I have tasted! light and fluffy but with a good dark depth of flavour of treacle and I suspect molasses. We were there for a good 3 hours chatting and at no point were we hurried along or made to feel we had outstayed our welcome even though the venue got quite busy. Would definitely recommend and will return.
A restaurant with ambiance, great seafood, friendly and professional service.
Nothing beats a large seafood platter for two with a bottle or two of Muscadet. Had a brilliant lunch on a gray and rainy Sunday. Bliss
Booked and seated by window. Busy lunch service, we had a starter and main, both were nice but nothing blew me away however, I don’t eat a lot of things so I think I ordered wrong. Saw other dishes going out and they all looked great. Stick with French and full on fish/seafood dishes to get the best. Gavi wine was delicious. An overall positive experience for a lively lunchtime experience. Service was very impressive.
As ever, Randall & Aubin was a great success. Service was excellent as was the food. My first 2 wine choices were not in stock which was the only disappointment.
I will definitely be back
Great meal with a friend enhanced by excellent cheerful service. Lovely fish soup and crab
I dont want to say this but R & A is one of the best kept institutions remaining in Soho.
It has the charm of an older European restaurant amidst the soul less retail shops that are replacing the vintage establishments.
The service and food is par non to anything else in the area. You can tell this by the guest who eat there. They all seem to have their favourite fish dish or place to sit while observing the circus outside.
I was given a seat I the window which I had not asked for but was considerately given knowing it was my birthday.
The scallops were the best ever and when the slightly breaded fish arrived for my Main, they were light and full of the sweetness of the sea.
Please keep this place for what it stands for and don't let the secrets out as to how you are able to let us back in so soon.
there was a problem with the booking and the staff, especially the french coordinator, was extraordinarily helpful.
The food and ambience were just fantastic. Really fresh and well prepared fish and seafood
Had oysters and they were all fresh!! Had hot dishes, my Halibut dish and the seafood combo were extremely tasty!! I can’t skip mentioning my lovely server, she was extremely helpful and friendly!! Loved her service :)
There is a certain pleasure in going into a restaurant at 6 pm pre-theatre time and finding it is probably the most crowded in the area. It must be good! Others we passed on the way to R&A in Brewer street hadn't really opened their doors, yet here was this buzzy, close-packed brasserie alive with 'fishy' foodies. For instance, the couple next to us were devouring some 36 oysters as if it was everyday fare for them. Wow - we couldn't afford that, but our moules, seafood spaghetti & calamari dishes were most appetising. Well fed and boosted by the upbeat atmosphere, we went on to enjoy Les Miserables in the Queens Theatre just around the corner. Final comment: a thoroughly good evening all round!
The restaurant had a nice ambience and there were clearly lots of happy guests eating, drinking and chatting away.
I booked a table for 2 for my girlfriend and I, and I must say, that I was less than pleased when we were given 2 seats facing the wall in a tight corner of the restaurant.
The service was good, albeit with a slight delay in food delivery.
My food reviews are mixed.
The calamari frites that I ordered were simply divine. They were rich and gold in colour, crisp and tasty. Perfect salt level, appropriately sized, and served with worthy accompaniments. A squeeze of lime to add a decent tang, pepper corns for some heat, and a lovely little salsa for a slightly sweet sensation. It was perhaps the best calamari I’ve had. It’s dishes like that that I go restaurants for. It was a joyful eating ‘experience’ to be savoured.
The scallop dish was ok. Personally I felt they should’ve been cooked slightly longer for a bit more bite. They were nicely seared but quite soft. The cauliflower purée was slightly underwhelming; perhaps a touch of salt to liven it up. The pancetta croutons were nice, salty and crunchy, but were, in my opinion, not enough to compensate for the general lack of seasoning of the dish. The lemon spinach also didn’t deliver on the much-needed acidity.
The lamb dish was average. Tasty lamb with nice and creamy mash potatoes. Nice sauce, although it lacked a deep lamb flavour that I expected from such a rich-looking sauce. Perhaps the key element to lift the dish was the mint sauce, which was very little and similarly under delivered. Quite disappointing really, as my girlfriend and I ordered that separately just to taste it.
My girlfriend’s tuna dish, however, was excellent. Her account of the dish was remarkable, and the little piece of tuna I had from her was equally memorable.
The starter of the day, the octopus casserole, was very nice but had little octopus in it.
The fries were very nice but were quite heavily salted.
There is only bar seating at this speciality seafood restaurant - not a problem, so long as you're aware in advance.
Seafood very fresh; the seafood platter is quite as good as anything you might find on the Atlantic coast of France - outstanding.
Bit surprised to find some mussels in the bottom of my fish soup but not unwelcome
Firstly we found the service really slow. It took ages for our drinks to arrive. It wasn’t as if they were really busy either.
Notwithstanding my crab burger was absolutely delicious my husband really enjoyed his burger too, at the time. We ordered the coffee pavlova to share. Despite having a spoon each it was so tough we couldn’t even break off one mouthful. We ended up smashing it so we could at least have a taste. To give credit where it’s due they immediately took it off the bill.
But back to the burger - it made it’s presence felt much later in the form of an upset tummy. He hadn’t had anything else to eat that day .....
We travel to London regularly (from USA) and always visit Randall & Aubin - almost a ritual. Normally I would rate 5 stars but perhaps we caught them on shift change (5.00 Sunday). We were given a long list of items not available and ordered 12 oysters while we made our choice. These took 30 minutes to arrive. Service was variable - original server seemed uninterested. Second server was up to usual standard.
We will visit again on our next visit - hopefully they will be back to normal.
Interesting quirky place, good food. The biggest downside is the ambiance. Why blast music as if the venue is a late night bar when people come to dine and talk during a meal? Good music choice though, love Crazy P! We left as soon as we finished our meal (at 19h00) as the music was getting louder and louder
As always, a fantasy experience here. We had Manx queenie scallops and oysters followed by dressed crab and lobster. What’s not to like? The also have an excellent wine list.
Lovley staff food amazing, tried different things each time i have been. Its my new fave restaurant
Justina's attention was excellent and the crab Burger superior
One of the beat oyster bar in the World! Every time I come to London, it's a "must".
Good meal at R and C overall, fish soup excellent, best i have had in a long while. Crispy sole quite nice but the squid was overcooked and tough, I should have sent it back but when someone else is paying its embarassing. Wine keenly priced and all in all a good if not fantastic experience
I have been going to R&A for years and always enjoyed it. The staff are fantastic (Sussu and Anna in particular) and the food good and different. However this time, the food was not as good as it should have been and usually is. The presentation was poor and the taste a bit bland. Of course I will go back. This hopefully was just a blip.
Love this restaurant. Second time here would recommend. Looking forward to our next visit
the food was great, very happy place. great choice for a break in the middle of the london tour.
Friendly, efficient service and fabulously fresh fish.
The reason I've been to R&A once a week in August is because of their brilliant oysters and champagne deal (half dozen and a glass) for £9.50. It's wonderful to sit near the open windows and have a relaxing catch up in the afternoon. I hope they continue the deal after August.
Fantastic food, wine, service and value. Took a client here for lunch and we had a wonderful time. It was a really relaxed yet fun atmosphere and I will be returning as soon as I can find an excuse.
I was disappointmented by my experience at Randall & Aubin. Though the atmosphere and deco was nice, the food left much to be desired. I ordered the crab burger with fries, which cost nearly £20 and was dry, flavourless and overall below average. Our waiter failed to show attention to detail and considering it wasn't busy was quite slow. He bought us the wrong condiment to what we asked for, took ages to bring us the bill, then assumed we were halfing the bill and added a tip. As a whole I probably won't be dinning here again.
The service was welcoming and the oysters delicious. My only criticism is that they were frozen to the shell:( a shame as the dressing and meatiness of the oysters were unrivaled
nice and come next time
We really enjoyed our experience at the restaurant. The food is not cheap and portions aren't big but the quality is good. There oyster offer (before 5.30pm) was excellent though and great value for money.
The majority of the staff where very good and the gentleman that greeted us was very friendly, however, there was a lady who was quite rude. Not only did she consciously ignore us when we tried to get her attention but when she came up to us to take our order it felt like an indisposition for her.