When we first sat down in Little Soho, I wasn’t exactly feeling the love. The booth was a little torn and tattered and the whole dining area felt like it could do with a bit of TLC to spruce the place up. It was quiet for a Saturday lunchtime – two other families and larger party failed to really fill the place up – and I got the feeling this was normal as there was just one waitress to service the whole place. Thus, we set about examining the menus in trepidation, deciding to order from the “2 courses for £10.50” menu.
Dad, rather unsurprisingly, started with the Minestrone Soup. He seemed to quite enjoy it and, most importantly for him, it was steaming hot when it arrived. Mum’s Duck Pâté with Oatcakes and Plumb (yes, plumb – please spellcheck your menus people) and Apple Chutney was also relatively good. Unfortunately there was no way she was spreading the oatcakes with the rock hard pat of butter that accompanied them, and, when eaten with everything else, the pâté itself was completely overpowered. However, by itself it had a good flavour and the sweet chutney was a winner. I went for the Bruschetta Pomodoro and was served a nicely toasted slice of bread, topped with sweet tomatoes, basil and onion. Not the most startling bruschetta I’ve ever had, but I couldn’t really fault it either.
Dad’s Fusilli Arabiatta was billed as having a “fiery chilli” sauce, and though he claimed it wasn’t that spicy his face told a different story (maybe it was just the lighting, but Dad’s cheeks had a certain pink glow about them). Mum ordered the Pizza Stornoway which was topped with bacon, black pudding and mozzarella – breakfast on a pizza basically! Quite obviously the pizza wasn’t a patch on those eaten on our recent trip to Paesano Pizza, but the thin dough was topped with a strong flavoured, and rather tasty, black pudding. I opted for pasta, swayed by a combination that I rarely have but really love – spinach and ricotta. My Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni was actually really nice – the soft pasta yielded to display a creamy mix of ricotta and spinach that, when mixed with the surrounding tomato sauce, was rich and moreish.
A trip to the toilets brought my thoughts back to the décor and upkeep of the place – cold, ugly and not 100% clean, I was glad that I hadn’t visited the loo before ordering as it wouldn’t have helped my worries any. As it was, the food was relatively good – I’ve definitely had worse – and the service was polite and pretty efficient. I don’t think I’ll be racing back to Little Soho, but they don’t enter the condemned list of eateries just yet!