Aurora, Soho

Bad blogger. I haven’t had the chance to get anything out online in months. I have loads in the pipeline, and finally have a moment to put pen to online paper and talk about Aurora in Soho.

The whole family got together at the start of June to celebrate my brothers birthday. For those of you who know him, he enjoys letting other people organise things for him and just turning up. A wise young man indeed.

The brief was somewhere nice and outside in Central London. For those of you who are Londoner’s, you’ll know it’s not particularly easy to find an outside space, that you can book and at the last minute.

I’d always wanted to try Aurora – it’s this gorgeous, quirky little restaurant on Lexington Street – which has a hidden leafy garden out the back. Amazingly for a Friday night they had availability in the garden and we jumped at the chance.

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The garden is a total sun trap in the evening, so if the weather is good I would always ask for a table outside. You can soak up the last of the rays with a cold drink, which is exactly what we did.

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I arrived at the restaurant with Alexi and Dad already there – they thrust a fizzy cocktail into my hands and we settled in waiting for Mum and Florence to arrive.

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This was delicious. I’m not a massive cocktail fan – I find them too sweet and would prefer a glass of fizz any day. But this is worth a try. A bit like an apérol spritz but much less bitter. It’s a mixture of prosecco, fresh elderflower cordial, mint and lemon.

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The others finally turned up (our family has a gift of arriving late everywhere!) and we got down to ordering.

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My lovely Mum!

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Wine first – naturally.

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Mum, Alexi and I all copied each other and went for the  Warm English Asparagus with Serrano Ham, Rocket and Shaved Parmesan to start. Beautifully in-season asparagus, with salty Serrano ham, topped with a good hunk of Parmesan cheese. Simple & utterly delicious.

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Dad’s a vegetarian so sometimes struggles with menus in restaurants – everything is so meat based. He chose the Red Pepper, Coconut and Lentil Soup, and although it doesn’t look much it was divine. Rich creamy coconut with a hint of spice.

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Florence opted for the prettiest of dishes – Crayfish Salad with Mango, Avocado, Sweetcorn, Cucumber, Cherry Toms and Spring Onions with Roasted Garlic Aioli.

As the sun finally dipped behind the brick walls, the tables came alive with candlelight and our mains started appearing. We chose a mixture of dishes:

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The Fillet of Sea Trout on Marsh Samphire, New Pots, Courgette Ribbons and Tender-stem Broccoli with Tarragon Mayonnaise

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Grilled Scottish Sirloin Steak with Chipolte Chilli Butter, Sweet Potato Wedges, Oven-Dried Toms, Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Rocked and Parmesan Salad.

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Pan-Fried Cod with Gnocchi in a Tomato, Fennel and Black Olive Sauce

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And my firm favourite – Grilled Aubergine with a Ricotta, Goats Cheese and Butternut Squash Filling on Harissa Couscous, Tomato Sauce, Rocket and Parmesan Salad. Not usually one for the veggie option, but this won me over entirely.

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I think these would be relatively straight forward to make at home – I might give them a go!

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We ended the evening with great coffee and a birthday chocolate brownie cake for AJ. A wonderful birthday meal with the fam.

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It’s a gorgeous restaurant. The staff are lovely, friendly and willing to give some great wine tips to match your food.

The food is delicious, simple and British. It also changes monthly so there is always something new to try.

I would highly recommend popping in for a glass of wine and a plate of something delicious if you happen to be in Soho. It’s a great spot for a date, a party or just a meal between friends. Let me know if you’ve been or if you end up going!

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