Oh damn, this is delicious!
I bit into my Gin soaked pie, allowing the flavours to explode my tastebuds as I grinned, slightly wiping off the crumbs that dotted my chin. The atmosphere was exotically dark inside the London Gin Club, the smells a rich pungent from the aromas that wafted from my Gin glass. I took a sip.
Sitting back, I espied on my fellow diners who had come on this Twilight Soho Food Tour run by Eating Europe Tours, and they, too in turn, grinned back at me, their stomachs fulfilled after a long day of sightseeing London.
The group mostly consisted of Americans ready for their eyes to be opened to British cuisine deep in the heart of London that is Soho: a hot bed of intrigue and ambiguity. However, their bewildering questions was tempered by the rather dashing British tour guide with floppy hair who bellowed out each word with gusto. Raving about the virtues of the changing food-scape of Soho, it was impossible not to enraptured by his passion for all things foodie.
We were sold, and we had only reached the second stop of the food tour of Soho in London.
Get ready for an evening of tacos, dim sum, cocktails and fun in London’s coolest neighbourhood.
Overview of Twilight Soho Food Tour
It’s rather interesting I do have to say. That’s there’s a food tour in Soho. I’ve been many times to Soho and I’ve always associated it with drink and party time there. After all, it’s a place of hedonism and frivolity. This is really where the most buzzing, fast-paced, vibrant night spot in London. From the 60s, it was home to the swingers, followed by the eclectic jazz scene, the in-your-face theatre luvvies, the rag trade and of course… the sex trade. Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, Soho is London’s red light district and we don’t need to spell this out… do we?
So, as you can see, Soho has been reincarnated quite a number of times thanks to the influx of international influences in the area, and we’re here to try out foods that tagged along. (you will be assured, you won’t have to try out sex-crazed food… or do you want to, really?)
So, enter Eating Europe who wants to educate you about the food. Taking you away from the tourists traps of Soho (believe me, after living in London for three years, you certainly do not want to see M&M world ever again), Eating Europe tours will take you the local cocktail bars and delicious restaurants that is making an impact on London’s culinary reputation. It;s not all jellied eels and fish n’chips, you know.
As experienced, I was gobsmacked to find the best kept unexpected secrets of Soho on this great night out whilst meeting new friends on this tour. I always thought the best foodie experience would be found in East London but to my utter and complete surprise, it was right there under my nose in central London. There are amazing food and drinks to be found here.
So, as I signed up for the tour, I was already licking my lips at the thought of trying everything from Spanish Jamon to Chinese dumplings while sipping on a frozen Margarita, the perfect Gin and tonic and much more. Not only that, the tour takes place during the evening, which means you’ll certainly experience the true Soho vibe that comes alive at night.
So, forget that dinner reservation. Come join me on this food tour that I nearly wanted to become the food tour guide. It was THAT good.
Now let’s see where I visited.
The Twilight Soho Food Tour
Meeting in front of the Palace Theatre, we were swiftly introduced to our guide (a rather enthusiastic and extremely lovely guy) and were soon headed off on our way to our first port of call.
La Bodega Negra
Surprisingly, La Bodega Negra is just yards about from the Palace Theatre on Old Compton Street. We were introduced to the restaurant as the go-to place for all things Mexican in Soho. My ears definitely pricked up at that. I just LOVE Mexican food and I don’t think there’s enough local Mexican restaurants in London. Plus, I never even knew La Bodega Negra is here. So, goodbye chain restaurants, I’ll definitely will be coming here.
So, what do they serve? Serving traditional tacos with a modern twist, as you can see below with a battered fish taco, you really do get the sense that this place is eclectic and quirky. They aim to combine the hip side of Soho with its more notorious history. Just park yourself on the stools and you’ll see why.
Perfect start to the tour. Mwah! (Especially with the frozen cocktail!)
The London Gin Club
After a brisk walk, we soon entered to our second visit where I was so cross with myself. I cannot believe in all of my time enjoying Soho that I never knew about the London Gin Club on Great Chapel Street. I love Gin and this club would have been especially perfect for me.
— Ed Rex (@rexyedventures) November 8, 2017
Serving Gin realness, you can tuck into a Gin-infused beef pie (I nearly died and went to heaven) whilst enjoying a fragrant gin and tonic that should be drunk the proper way. We were enthused to receive a Gin lesson on how you should serve it and, my god, it blew my mind. Since then, I’ve had my Gin done properly.
Leaving the establishment, feeling light headed, I tottered along with the rest of the group to explore Soho at night.
Passing through a popular street, we soon stopped off at Enrique Tomas on Wardour Street. Already successful in Spain, this family-run business has now set up shop in Soho. You can certainly get the full Jamon tasting experience here with a lovely glass of wine.
The food was especially delicious, even nibbling on the different types of Jamon that varies in different prices. But one thing for sure, it really harked back my time in Spain bringing fantastic memories in Madrid:
See more: Why I Love Madrid
After another walk around learning the Soho culture from the guide, my stomach was already rumbling (note, don’t eat a big lunch on the day, you will feel absolutely stuffed by the end of this tour). Luckily, we found Pix Bar in Bateman Street.
This is where I’m going to go every time I go to Soho. It’s absolutely a heaven for all foodies. Serving Basque Country flavours, you can taste their version of tapas and choose your very own ‘pintxos’ (Basque snacks skewered with a wooden stick) from the selections they had on offer. We had a number to choose from and I was totally spoilt for choice, spending way too long marvelling at the wondrous colours of the food and deciding which was to enter in my salivating mouth.
Next time, I’m going to be eating the pintxos slowly and appreciate the flavours in more detail. But the danger is, they are just too yummy!
Entering Chinatown in Soho, my eyes soon lit up in delight. We were going to be tasting the best Chinese food for sure. I’ve tried a few places here but never got that satisfying feeling.
No, not the drug. The restaurant.
Hidden away secretly on Gerrard Street, you will need to get special booking to enter i this establishment, manned by a burly looking security guard at the door. If you look hard, you will find it.
So, what was on offer? Dim sum of course! But not only that, with special Chinese tea too. I do have to say that it was the best dim sum I’ve ever tasted in my life. Served in special straw/wooden baskets that you can disassemble, you will find these dim sum to be cooked perfectly.
Meanwhile, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere here. Feeling like I’ve been whisked away to an Oriental opium den, everything was lit up by candles only, revealing moving shadows in dark corners, while your nose took in the aromatic smells that would transport you to China.
The Basement Bar
Our final stop was for some much needed dessert. Chocolate, of course. This time at the Basement Bar. I’m not allowed to tell you where it is in Soho as it’s a secret. You need to get special invite, I’m afraid. But going on this Eating Europe tour, you;ll definitely find out where it is.
But no matter what, you’ll be in Chocolate heaven and of course, Cocktail bliss.
A perfect end to the food tour, definitely.
Pictures of Soho
While we were walking between restaurants, this tour is not just about the food. It’s also a chance to find out more about the history and culture of Soho ranging from its roots to the movement of different nationalities who moved here, influencing the food here, and also to its best known association, the red light district. The tour guide not only informed us, but was extremely entertaining that kept us enthralled in what he had to share with us. Kudos to him!
Verdict of Twilight Soho Food Tour
If I ever had to give a rating to this amazing food tour, I would give this a solid 4.8 out of 5!
Extremely delicious food, mind-blowing facts, gorgeous cultures, entertaining history and one not to be missed if you are in London.
The reason why I took 0.2 off was that the Basement Bar was very loud for my liking and I couldn’t enjoy my food as much, although still delicious.
If you ever want to find out more about going on this tour, you can discover them here: Eating Europe Twilight Soho Food Tour
Or you can find out more London food tours to be had: Eating Europe London Tours
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Read more about my East End Food experience: Eating London Tour
What do you think? Are you going to go on this Twilight Soho Food Tour? Let me know in the comments below!