I recently visited Forty Dean Street for the first time, mid-week with some fellow PR friends, Hannah and Mindy. We had designs on either Polpo or Burger Lobster but grumbling tummies and long queues put paid to that, so we decided to give Forty Dean Street a try. We spotted a board outside promoting their offer of two courses for £10.90 and decided to give that a try.
With three choices for each course, this meant we were able to try everything which suited us just fine.
I chose the melanzine parmigiana for my first course, which was superb. Slices of aubergine baked in a rich tomato sauce, with layers of oozing cheese (I would hazard a guess at a mild Cheddar) and sprinklings of strong, salty parmesan. With expert seasoning, this really did get my hopes up for the main event.
Hannah’s first dish was also a triumph, squid and courgette fritto, deep fried, cooked perfectly and well- seasoned. Mindy’s on the other hand wasn’t quite as nice. A large vegetable arancini – it was certainly edible, but a little on the dry side and quite salty too.
For the main course I chose spaghetti with pork meatballs. The sauce was a lovely spicy tomato event, but the meatballs weren’t the best to be honest. I bit into quite a bit of gristle which was unpleasant and they were dry and over-salted, so not great.
Mindy had selected a vegetable pasta, with a tomato based sauce and chopped courgettes throughout, quite a basic dish really, but very appetising all the same.
Hannah chose the chicken supreme which came in yet another tomato sauce (spot the theme) and was served over some creamy mashed potato. The potato was perfectly seasoned, and the sauce was good, but the chicken was a little bit overcooked and had lost some of its moisture which was a shame as it was an otherwise delicious plate of food.
I would certainly return to Forty Dean Street and try out dishes outside of the set menu as we saw some very tempting dishes being carried to other tables and I was impressed by the service – particularly when it came to paying the bill. It turned out that the board outside was promoting the lunchtime offering and the evening offer was slightly pricier at £16.50 for two courses, still good value in Soho, but when we queried this, the manager was happy to honour the £10.90 price and apologised for the confusion, which was good of them.
If Italian is your bag, then definitely give Forty Dean Street a try but I would advise against the meatballs.