Monday, 22 October 2012

Disiac, Soho

Disiac Restaurant, 6 Greek Street, Soho, London
New restaurants open in London at such a whirlwind rate that, if it's not your actual job to do so, it's almost impossible to keep up. I subscribe - as should you, if you have any interest in these things - to Catherine and Gavin Hanly's definitive Hot Dinners e-newsletter, and keep an eye on, among others, the excellent blog of lifestyle concierge company Bon Vivant, but very often even reasonably high-profile openings pass me by.

All this having been said, I was still surprised when a friend who has nothing to do with restaurants professionally or otherwise raved to me about Soho newcomer Disiac, because not only had I not heard about it, apparently no-one else had either - not the newsletters, nor in my 'Food People' column on Twitter, nor even a couple of real-life restaurant critics I asked.

You will, I think, be hearing rather a lot more about Disiac before long however, because having gone along to try it for myself I reckon it's going to be very popular indeed. For one thing it's an absolutely gorgeous little place, with a minimal but luxurious monochrome interior and a variety of flexible dining spaces - see-and-be-seen window seats, tucked-away booths or around the central raw bar and open kitchen. For another, the bar turns out some extremely good - and potent - cocktails at £9 a pop from opening o'clock until gone midnight.

Strozzapretti pasta at Disiac, London
But the real excitement at Disiac lies in the fantastic food, some of the best I've had anywhere in a while. Executive chef Paolo Palmisano and head chef Michele de Rosa (ex-Cecconi's) have put together a mostly Italian menu, divided simply into Starters, Fish & Meat and Pasta & Risotti, all made to order.

My date - rising star of fashion illustration Joe Larkowsky - and I started with some ace bruschetta followed by a beautifully oozing Pugliese burrata, simply drizzled in some very good Spanish olive oil. That same oil, with the addition of just a little lemon and parsley, was used to sauté fat mussels, the resulting rich emulsion coating the bivalves like butter.

A plateau de fruit de mer was for its £32 price - all-in, not per person - absolutely huge and especially generous considering it included half a grilled lobster and a few Colchester rock oysters alongside super-fresh, super-tasty mussels, clams and langoustines, pleasingly chewy chilli-flecked razor clams and sweet, bright Mediterranean prawns. We finished off with two incredible pasta dishes, strozzapretti - thick hand-rolled whorls - tossed with courgettes, cherry tomatoes, bitter wilted radicchio and tangy dolcelatte, and the classic Neapolitan scialatelli alle vongole, short cables of pasta dotted with dinky palourde clams.

The forty-five bin wine-list is strong on champagne and sparklers - accounting for a third of the list - and elsewhere offers an interesting selection of all-Old World whites, reds and rosés, none marked up by more than about 100% on the retail price meaning there are some bargains to be had. A crisp, green Tramin Pinot Bianco was a good match both for the salinity of our seafood and the bigger flavours of the pasta.

Plateau de fruits de mer at Disiac, Soho
So great food, fair pricing, cracking cocktails and a smart space; what's not to love? Nothing that I can see, although Disiac will face some challenges to really establish itself and do as well as I hope it will. Firstly, the slick interior is so the opposite of the current ubiquitous bare brick/exposed lightbulbs fashion that trendier restaurant collectors might unfairly give it a wide berth. 

Also the changing roster of events - a DJ some nights, live jazz others - could put off punters who prefer consistency over variety. Not me, though; I intend to go back, and often, to enjoy more of the brilliance Joe and I experienced on this first night, and suggest that you do too. 

Disiac, ladies and gentlemen - unusually, you heard it here first.

Disiac, 6 Greek Street, London W1D 4ED Tel: 020 7734 3888

Disiac on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Posted by +Hugh Wright


  1. Thanks for the mention, Hugh - your support always appreciated! Must get down to try Disiac too - thanks for highlighting what sounds like a wonderful place that had slipped under the radar.


  2. Looks really good, shall definitely have to try it next time I'm visiting (*sob*)! It's strange, I feel like I know all about Joe's life yet we've never met...

  3. We'll have to get together a trois when you next visit! Although I'd have no idea what to wear to such a fashionable gathering...

  4. My pleasure Emyr, I really do rely on your newsletter to keep up to speed with where's hip, happening and fabulous!

  5. Avoid. My friend and I suffered severe food poisoning after eating their seafood platter recently.

  6. NEVER AGAIN!!!!!
    if your want a long lasting food poisoning for 100 pounds and you´re not expecting them to say even "we´re sorry" and of course no refund, then this is the right place for you!!!


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