33 Southampton Street
Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7HE
Bistro 1 covers two floors – with the upper floor being a bit more spacious than the ground floor. The meals are quite cheap for this very touristic area of London with 2 courses for £6.90 or 3 courses for £7.90 so my expectation was not high. In fact I was quite pleasantly surprised by the food, which was quite decent especially at this price.
Deep-fried spicy chicken on skewers
The spicy chicken on skewers came with a fairly plain salad, but it was still quite fresh and had a pleasant enough dressing. The chicken was very nicley done though, being well cooked but not dry as is a common risk with chicken cooked on skewers. The garlic yoghurt dip was not especially garlicky, but it was certainly spicy. Overall, a dish exceeding expectation.
Fillet of sea bream
The main course was sea bream topping garlic mashed potato. The potato itself was perhaps just a little on the mushy side, though it’s flavour was good. The fish was very nicely cooked and seasoned – certainly with a better flavour than presentation suggested.
Apple tarte tartin
Dessert was the weakest dish, being a bit excessively sweet and a little overcooked.
Cost & conclusion: I was not the one paying the bill, but 3 courses for £7.90 is hard to complain about. There were about 14 of us together at lunch, which is a group size that most restaurants have trouble to cope with (it is hard to get the same standard of food in a large group as you get in smaller groups). Bistro 1 did this pretty well, and the service was both speedy and polite. Overall, a positive experience and I’d eat here again.