There are lots of great restaurants in Soho. So, when heading to Firebird, nestled just off Oxford Street, I had pretty high hopes.
Having opened in 2022 to rave reviews, it was the concept that captured my attention. The dishes are Mediterranean and cooked on open fire, one of my absolute favourite styles of cooking – and I wasn’t disappointed.
Upon entry, the venue is small and intimate. Smaller central London venue always seem to give off a quiet confidence. Sort of like, we know our dishes are good, we don’t need an ostentatious venue to show that off. I like that. I was pleased to hear the restaurant was female-owned, and co-founders Anna Dolgushina and Madina Kazhimova, have masterfully curated an atmosphere where sophistication is met with welcoming warmth and creativity, making for an unforgettable dining experience.
The interiors are sleek and refined, almost Scandi in design, and I enjoyed the dim lighting, accentuating the shadows dancing on the walls from the open fire kitchen close by. Once seated, we were handed a cocktail menu which was derived of smart and creative twists on classic such as a Pear Dry Martini and a Fig Leaf Pornstar Martini. Guest and I opted for a Sicilian Orange Manhattan which added a new depth of flavour from the sweet citrus additions.
The menu is short, sweet, to the point and wildly interesting. For example, dishes use trendy and in-the-now ingredients such as halloumi, beetroot, fennel and nduja, but create simple pairings that really pack a punch in flavour.
There are a selection of snacks including Sourdough Potato Focaccia which came highly recommended and Bloody Mary Corn Ribs topped with parmesan cheese. I was intrigued to try the Rock Oyster served with blood orange and basic vinaigrette, which was incredibly vibrant in colour, punchy and fruity – all unexpected flavours.
Starters ranged from a Tuna Tartare served with cured egg yolk, to Lamb Skewers served with rocket pesto and cime di rapa – all prepared in some way or another over the fire. We chose the Tiger Prawn in nduja butter served with orange chimichurri. Fat prawns were masterfully deadheaded and presented in this rich buttery sauce – perfection. We also tried the Fennel & Agretti salad topped with parmesan and kumquat which complemented the complex flavours of the prawns very well.
For mains, each dish was tempting and served with an intriguing side dish. It’s my opinion that too many restaurants pay little attention to the humble side dish, yet it can really make a meal! We went for and shared (the dishes are perfect to share), a Duck Breast swimming in a rich black garlic cream, the richness cut through with the presence of cold grapes, alongside Braised Beef Cheek served with dark chocolate and heritage carrots. The expertly-flamed meat was just melt in your mouth and portions were generous. The Mash Potato side is a must – so fluffy and buttery.
When chatting to our friendly host about the wines on the menu, she mentioned that the owners make a conscious effort to champion small, natural, and biodynamic producers from across Europe. With over 15 years of dedicated service in the hospitality industry, Head Sommelier Kristina Gladilina has a truly unparalleled understanding of wines showcasing an impressive number of bottles from across Europe with juicy, vibrant and elegant varieties all being accounted for.
This restaurant is an absolute must-visit and whilst dishes skew on the pricier side, although the quality more than makes up for this, there is also a seasonally changing set lunch menu of Firebird favourites available on weekdays – 2 courses for £28.00 or 3 courses for £32.00 – which is incredibly reasonable.
Find out more > www.firebirdlondon.co.uk