Café Kitty, Soho

It was vaguely 20’C in summer, Gareth Southgate’s England were playing that evening, Nigel Farage has announced he’ll be Prime Minister in 2029, and I was going for a roast dinner at Café Kitty in the same building as a children’s theatre. What’s not to like about that?

Elon Musk liking a tweet that seems to show cartoon versions of pretty young girls in revealing clothing

No, Elon, not those type of children.

Yay, we are all free to like posts about salad, or in Elon Musk’s case, like dubious posts about scantily dresses young girls or fascism, and nobody will ever know we like salad/are fascist (delete as appropriate). Though to be fair to Elon, he’s happy just retweeting fascists outright.

Someone bring back Buzzfeed listicles as I’d love to see a list of the stupidest things Elon Musk has done to Twitter since buying it with Saudi debt. Like, seriously, what happened to BuzzFeed? Are they still a thing or are we totally bored of them?

Anyway. Kids. Café Kitty is on the first floor of Underbelly Boulevard, fairly newly open in Soho. Underbelly apparently do kids theatre on a Sunday afternoon, and for some reason the theatre toilets involve walking through Café Kitty. Ambience this was not, especially when the kids started playing with the piano. Points deducted already.

Parents of toddlers probably judging me as an arsehole right now, but in much the same way that Jay Rayner doesn’t want dogs licking his leg whilst eating a meal, I don’t want children playing a piano whilst eating a meal. If I wanted entertaining by children whilst eating a roast dinner, I would go to a Hungry Horse pub.

Meow Meow

Thankfully this interruption was fairly brief, and the waiter/manager glanced a knowing look to us, and closed the lid to the piano. Points redeemed.

Inside Café Kitty, Soho
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

As well as Café Kitty being strangely located on the first floor of a theatre with no sign outside, although there is something suggesting “a restaurant” when you enter the theatre, it was strangely quiet inside. Well, I guess the two things are connected as there is no way Café Kitty will get much in the way of passing trade, as it stands, unless you count toddlers needing a wee, which is more pissing than passing.

That said, Jay Rayner and Giles Coren (I wonder if he is still voting Tory? I’m endeavouring to find someone still voting for them) highly rated the venue, so you might have thought it would have some bookings. Or the fact that they are the sister restaurant to Cora Pearl, which I rated highly, and which you definitely need to book ahead. Cora Pearl does feel more like a restaurant though.

Roast dinner menu at Café Kitty, Soho
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

As always, I was here to judge the roast dinner, and my choice was between roast chicken at £26.00 or beef sirloin at £30.00. I didn’t fancy either, though it certainly wasn’t a moment to start thinking about an onion tarte tatin – I’d rather start supporting Scotland. Yes I did support Germany against Scotland. I prefer techno to bagpipes, ok?

Anyway (possibly my most-used word on this blog), I went for the beef, pretty much only because the previous roast dinner I’d had chicken.

It was going to be a long day ahead waiting for the 8pm kick-off in the Euros, to see if we could win our opening game of the tournament for only the second time ever – Gareth Southgate was manager then also, fact fans. Hence I thought it sensible to order both wine and beer – Jute for the IPA which was fruity and friendly, the house red was good also, but I’m not going to pretend I can describe wine.

Kitty Ket

It was one of those serve yourself efforts – at least in that I had to add the greens and cauliflower cheese cream myself, so if you don’t like the presentation, then you know who to blame.

Beef Sunday roast at Café Kitty, Soho
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

Starting with the carrots, which were thin, soft and sweet – the honey flavour was on the strong side.

Parsnips not quite so successful, a bit of a mix here – again flavoured with honey, but some parsnips had a pleasurable texture – others were chewy.

Elon Musk liking a tweet that says "milk your tiny penis, pervert"

Gosh does this mean that I can go back to liking Rishi Sunak’s tweets and nobody will know that I secretly think he’s the greatest Prime Minister since…Theresa May?

Spring greens were an oily bunch, perhaps a hint of garlic involved, but otherwise somewhat of a chore.

You’ll probably have noticed me moan about the lack of cheese on the cauliflower cheese cream already, but I shall emphasise once more – if you are going to do cauliflower cheese, then it should taste of cheese. At least it was well-balanced in terms of softness, there was cream and some chives (I think)…but…to paraphrase someone with an even-wilder tweet liking history than Musk, MAKE CAULIFLOWER CHEESE with GRATED CHEESE AGAIN.

Kitty Galore

The roast potatoes looked the part:

Close up of roast potatoes at Café Kitty, Soho
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

Alas, there were pretty tough inside. 5 of them too, but only one I’d class as good – the rest needed longer in the oven. Though they did actually seem more deep fried than oven-roasted…but let’s trust the menu’s claim of goose fat as much as we trust a political manifesto. Labour won’t put up taxes. Absolutely not. Absolutely no chance. Oh no. Well, not as much as the Tories put them up, anyway.

The Yorkshire pudding looked overwhelming, but I’d say it was probably the best part of the roast dinner. Sure, it was far too large considering the lack of gravy, and the outside arguably a tad on the dry side – yet the inside was really rather fluffy. Not award-winning, but good.

It was certainly better than the beef. I think I need a close-up:

Close up of fatty beef at Café Kitty, Soho
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

I complained more about my beef than the other two who’d ordered beef, but mine was distinctly chewy and fatty – just look at all the chewy rind encapsulated in there. Sure, it was rare – bravo, and there was some slightly dark-feeling flavour going on, almost like a hint of treacle. But quality – nope. Yes, I ate it all, but I always do – and I always certainly will do when being charged £30.00 for a roast dinner. Yes, I am giving my head a wobble.

Finally, the gravy was just pretty watery, both in terms of viscosity and flavour. There were hints of some gravy flavour, it wasn’t pure watery, but not enough for it to rescue a debatable roast dinner.

Café Kitty

My first thought, apart from some general deflation and worry for it being an omen of an upcoming deflating performance from England that night, was did I over-rate Cora Pearl when I went there?

I don’t think I did, as though they shared watery gravy, the beef at Cora Pearl was far better, as were the potatoes – which were the two things (along with the watery gravy) that really let Café Kitty down.

The waiter/manager, who was actually quite a star all the way through (though had almost as many staff as customers to look after), asked us what the highlight was – I guess it was the Yorkshire pudding. Or the carrots?

Alas, I wasn’t really sure what to say. This isn’t a bad roast dinner per se, but it needs a lot of improvement, and maybe that is another reason why the restaurant isn’t that busy on a Sunday yet. I loved Cora Pearl when I went, so I hope Café Kitty becomes successful in time, but in terms of restaurant vibe and quality of roast dinner, it isn’t there for me.

Scores around the table were a 6.00 and 2x 6.50’s. My score is a sadly lowly 6.25.

No roast next weekend, at least not in London as I’m back on my travels. I shall be back the Sunday after…nothing is booked and football may well get in the way again. Damn you, UEFA.

Copy of an Elon Musk tweet where he boats about a bot purge, yet 6 million Layla's have liked his post

Bot purge going as successful as Rishi Sunak’s election campaign, yo.

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Café Kitty, Soho

Station: Piccadilly Circus

Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Piccadilly

Fare Zone: Zone 1

Price: £30.00

Rating: 6.25

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Waiter/manager was top notch, décor is my kinda vibe and I liked the yorkie - was mucho fluffy

Loathed: Beef was chewy/fatty (and I love meaty fat), roasties were pretty hard inside, gravy was watery.

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