The best food is made to be served in bowls. Am I right, or am I right? The tastiest rice dishes, noodles, pho, curry…even cereal… all best served in a bowl of kinds.
My favourite rice dishes are always jollof rice or rice’n’peas. So I was super excited when I found a new spot had opened in Soho serving these, alongside many other dishes and foods inspired by South Africa, the Caribbean and South-East Asia. What’s more, the pride themselves on offering great quality food which is affordable.
Bowls restaurant is a bright, colourful and arty restaurant, filled with greens, a wall of foliage and even a wall filled with colourful bowls. It is pretty small, and tables do feel a little squeezed in, but it’s not too squashed. We noticed immediately that the service is pretty bubbly and chatty, across the restaurant, and the team seemed keen to make everyone’s evening.
Back to the menu…
The seasonal menu features starters (or small bowls) and greedy bowls (ie. mains), of which all options differ greatly from each other. Think butternut squash croquettes, bao and a seared tuna salad, to Coconut rundown curry, Tuna poke and BBQ jackfruit with jollof rice.
The Prawn Tostada is a fab cold option for picking at and super easy to share! A small bowl of crunchy nachos, it arrived topped with creamy guacamole, juicy mango and prawn. A delicious mix of fresh flavours and textures.
The Seared Tuna Salad is another cold, yet tasty and light starter. The tender, super tasty tuna pieces were served with winter leaves, chickpea, sesame & soya dressing, and it was one absolutely delicious Asian-inspired starter.
We can’t resist the truffle, and so the Truffled Courgette Fries were a must, and should be for any truffle fans. With a crispy coating and soft courgette centre, they were tasty alone and even better with the light yet tangy romanesco sauce they come with.
Light starters was a great choice as the portions for the mains is generous.
The Jamaican Curry Goat with rice ‘n’ peas was a fantastic dish of deep and fragrant flavours. The rice was a lot fluffier than any I’d had before. The goat was super soft, with not much fat or many bones (something common with goat). It was rich and packed with flavour. It wasn’t as saucy as a lot of the curry goat I’d had before, but it didn’t need it.
Our favourite of the night however was the BOWLS. BBQ, jerk chicken, rice ‘n’ peas and fried plantain. The chicken was really juicy, with the jerk flavour running throughout (not just on the skin). The plantain was soft and sweet, and cooked really well – I stole a bit to go with the Jamaican curry goat too. Next time I’ll definitely be ordering a side of this to go with whatever dish I choose. We added an egg on top which was different but a great choice. Altogether one fab jerk chicken dish (and we’ve had plenty of these in our time!).
As for the drinks, they appear to fall inline with the influences too.
There are plenty of wine and spirits to choose from, as well as a handful of soft drinks and a beer option. Alongside this, there’s a cocktail menu consisting of eight drinks, all of which had fab names and sounded delicious.
I loved the name of the Mai-tai of mine (I do love a good pun!). A mix of Wray & Nephew rum, Appleton Signature rum, Aperol, frangelico, lime, pineapple it wasn’t quite as tropical, yet it was juicy and very tasty.
The Painkiller Slush, a mix of Gosling’s rum, Koko Kanu Original Jamaica rum, orange, pineapple and coconut, arrives inside a coconut shell! It’s a juicy, thick slushie drink, and tastes super tropical and delightful.
The aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, which is the cheapest on the menu, was a good, slightly crisp white. It was a lovely wine to sip away the rest of the evening as we took it slow before heading off.
Service is super friendly and chatty, which makes all the difference – and this wasn’t just for us! You could see the team going the extra mile and having a bit of a joke with other tables around us too.
- Price: Starters for £4.50 – £8, mains from £8.50 – £14.50. Really good portions, meaning it’s such a good price. Cocktails are between £7.50 and £9.50 which is fab for Soho.
- Food: Fresh, great quality, fantastic flavours.
- Drinks: plenty of options, the cocktails are the ones to go for!! Go for the Painkiller Slush!
- Atmosphere: cool, relaxed, friendly. Such chatty service, which really adds to the experience.
- Wait: There wasn’t any wait on the Thursday we visited. But we could imagine it getting really busy as it’s such a fab spot. Definitely worth waiting for a table though if you had to.
I think this is a fab new addition to Soho. I’ll definitely be returning for the jollof rice and more plantain!
Have you been anywhere new recently?
*I was invited along to review Bowls as part of the East London Girl team.