Soho is built on stories. Of loves lost, places past, and drinks drunk. So when one goulash-stained story ends, in this case that of the Gay Hussar - the legendary left-wing hangout where Hungarian food was served without gusto and politics was discussed with plenty of wine on the side - it’s only natural that another big name should take its place. It’s also only natural that said name, Noble Rot, should be the best wine pourers in London, and fit as effortlessly onto the end of Greek Street as a glass of champagne does in the hands of anyone in Soho.
This isn’t a surprise though. The original has that rare and indefinable comfort factor that makes new-ish spots feel like worn-in chesterfields. The same goes here. Dark reds meet muted yellow orbs, and there’s just enough room to squeeze around. Part of it is also thanks to the menu and Alex Jackson, previously of Sardine. The bread is still around (don’t worry) as is the slip sole and the usual delicious whatnot - a chop on beans, some fish and aioli - but there’s also some slight Hungarian honouring going on. A goulash or the choux bun filled with duck liver paté, plus a new stalwart via the Jura: a whole roast chicken with morels and vin jaune. Noble Rot may have a light touch when it comes to assimilating into an area, but what it brings continues to feel completely unique to London.