I have always wanted to visit BYOC, and what better opportunity than at the launch party of BYOC ft. James Cochrane at their latest branch in Soho.
BYOC (aka ‘Bring Your Own Cocktail’) is a speakasy where you are welcome to bring your own bottle(s) of poison (alcohol/spirits!), where expert mixologists with their array of syrups and bitters will be at hand to shake up concoctions to your hearts desire.
The Soho branch has taken it to the next level by teaming up with young and exciting chef James Cochran (formerly at Harwood Arms and Ledbury) to deliver mouth-watering dishes, specially crafted using local and seasonal produce.
We were first shown upstairs to the bar, a rather dim and intimate setting, where we were served champagne, cocktails and oysters – not a bad start to a Thursday evening. The Whitstable rock oysters were topped with bone marrow and black radish, and was a delicious mouthful, I only wished that I could have grabbed one more (or an armful) before we proceeded downstairs to the ground floor restaurant.
We were each suggested to order four dishes from the menu, so we ordered eight different dishes between the two of us – we do like variety.
The first of the fish dishes that we ordered was the treacle cured smoked salmon with smoked cods roe, radish, rye, mustard cress, and a small cube of whiskey and apple jelly on the side.
The next fish dish was the Cornish mackerel, served with charcoal mayonnaise, pickled wild cherries and (dehydrated) seaweed. I do love mackerel dishes, both raw and cooked, and this one was seared nicely. Some may find this too fishy, but it was perfect for my tastes.
The third and also my favourite dish of the evening was the Cornish ray wing topped with samphire and a thin slice of cured pork collar which enhanced the flavour. I do love the smoothness of ray wing flesh, I would have happily had seconds (and thirds) …
Moving to the meatier dishes, starting with the braised short rib of red ruby beef which was tender and juicy, served with a flavoursome girolle marmalade. This was followed by a thick cut of crisp pork belly with yogurt, purple sprouting broccoli and pinenuts which added an extra crunch. To balance it out, we had the Wye valley asparagus topped with a light egg and garlic mousse – one of our 5-a-day …
Unable to decide between the desserts, we eventually settled for a sweet and savoury dessert to share between us. For the sweet dessert, we went for the English raspberries with lemon verbena buttermilk and feuille de brick, which consisted of thinly crisp slices of pastry. And you just can’t go wrong with cheese …
I didn’t have much time to check out the bar upstairs, but I’d definitely be interested to pop back in again to try out more of their bespoke cocktails, and the famous Buttermilk Jerk Chicken that I’ve been hearing about …
Check out their website for more details.
The Cheekster, signing out x
The meal was complimentary, but views remain my own.