South East Asian Food in Soho
Freak Scene serves up some fantastic South East Asian food in Soho with an open kitchen enabling guests to watch the chefs at work! It reminded me of a Japanese Izakaya (informal pub) I had visited in Tokyo with an intimate and relaxed dining experience. Takeshi’s Castle (a Japanese game show featuring a Count who owns and castle and sets up difficult challenges for players to reach him!) is played on loop and there are a number of Japanese posters up on the walls!
The restaurant and concept was founded by Scott Hallsworth and his partner, Phar Shaweewan. Scott was previously the head chef of Nobu in Park Lane and went on to launch Kurobuta before founding Freak Scene. From reading a couple of news articles, Scott is a very popular and in demand chef who has previously cooked for Victoria Beckham, Michael Jackson and Roman Abramovich!
We were recommended the Tamarind Ricky with Bobby’s Gin, Cointreau, Tamarind, Lemon, Soda (£11.50). This was the perfect blend of sweet and sour and a great aperitif to kick the night off. During dinner we also had a Freaky Smash, Sinala 63, St Germain, Black Grape, Mint (£11). This was similar to a Mojito and was light and refreshing.
Freak Scene also has a selection of beers (Ashai of course) and a few choices of wine. They also serve Sake Bombs – shots of rice wine balanced over a Tiger beer on chopsticks (£4). Kampai (cheers in Japanese)!
The South East Asian Menu
Parts of the menu change on a weekly basis depending on the freshly sourced ingredients and what the chefs create! The menu is concise and designed to share in groups. We were recommended 6 dishes between us, which was plenty. The dishes come as they are ready so there is plenty of time to have a relaxed dining experience.
We kicked off with the Chilli Crab and Avocado Wonton ‘Bombs’ (2pc) (£9.50). These were absolutely incredible – each mouthful was so enjoyable, the ingredients were so fresh and the chilli had a great, but not overpowering, kick. These are a must order!
Next came the Beef Marinated Rib Eye Tataki with onion, ponzu and garlic crisps (£13.50). The beef was seared on the edges and so tender. The marinade was amazing – everything just worked so well together, even if your breath does remain a little garlicky afterwards!
Following this was the Roasted Hispi cabbage with dried miso, ponzu, truffle oil (£9) which is one of their most popular South East Asian dishes. We could certainly see why with the flavours of the ponzu and truffle oil bursting in our mouths. We also tucked into the Whitebait Tempura with Nam Jim Dip (£5.50). The fish was freshly fried and the accompanying dip was great.
Our last two dishes were the Pork Belly Donut Buns with Spicy Mayo and Cucumber Pickles (2pc) (£12.75) and the Thai Red Curry of Duck Leg with Lychees (£16) served with sushi rice (£3). The pork belly itself was flavoursome, but the donut buns did not work for us. They weren’t too sweet (which is good) but they were too greasy – we just prefer hirata steamed buns! The duck in the thai red curry fell off the leg and was so tender. The curry definitely has spice (it is thai red curry for a reason) and was another favourite of ours.
We finished off with a light Hot Chocolate Mousse, Coconut Frozen Parfait with muddled raspberries (£7).
Freak Scene certainly delivers some punchy South East Asian food in Soho. We loved the set up with seating around the bar and the buzzing atmosphere. The food is seriously great, and we can’t wait to try some of the other dishes on offer! The restaurant also has a late bar licence to 1.30 and an express lunch menu served during the week from 11-3.
East London Girl: Freak Scene
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