Test Driving Bar Crispin - illuminating wine and small plates in Carnaby

bar crispin carnaby soho london reviewThe terrace at Bar Crispin in Carnaby

What do we need to know about Bar Crispin?

This is the newest opening from Dominic Hamdy and Oliver Hiam, the duo who brought us Crispin in Spitalfields. A natural wine bar and restaurant, it's open all day, kicking off with coffee and pastries in the morning and switching it up to a range of small plates and wines in the evening. Fabien Spagnolo is in charge of the food and was previously at Jason Atherton's Pollen St. Social, Frenchie in Covent Garden and Casa Fofo in Hackney.

Where exactly is it?

You'll find it in the heart of Carnaby on Kingly Street. There's a large terrace if you're into eating alfresco and inside you've got a choice of high top table or counter dining. Downstairs you'll find a handy space for events and wine dinners which could also be used as a private dining room. The nearest station is Oxford Circus.

So what's on the menu?

The restaurant describes their offering as a "broadly European inspired menu, using locally sourced ingredients, independent growers, small-scale farms and producers". In practice, the menu is split into snacks with a choice of small and larger plates going up to £38 for Cornish sole with brown butter.

Here's what we had:

bar crispin carnaby soho london reviewNative oysters with shallots (£3.50 each)

bar crispin carnaby soho london reviewMussels with nduja and gremolata (£9.50) - such a great combo, those teeny sweet mussels and the kick of the nduja

bar crispin carnaby soho london reviewBeef tartare with horseradish (£15) - the hand-cut tartare is beautifully presented

bar crispin carnaby soho london reviewStar dish: Potato and anchovy foccacia with salsa verde £11) - double-carbing toasts of joy

bar crispin carnaby soho london reviewWelsh lamb with black lime and salsa verde (£19.50)

Room for dessert?

There are usually a few options on the menu. We went for a daily special of pannacotta with black cherries and grapes.

What about the wine?

The wine is a key part of Bar Crispin's make-up and running that side of things here is GM and sommelier Alexandra Price, who was previously at Beaverbrook and Annabel's. Here she's serving up from a 150-strong natural wine list, she's curated with a focus on old world and indigenous grape varietals, as well as indie producers.

We particularly enjoyed a Party Panda Pet Nat from Staffelter Hof, with a label you won't forget in a hurry, along with an Albariño from winemaker Constantina Sotelo. Entry-level is around £30 with most bottles in the £50-£60 range.

bar crispin carnaby soho london reviewAlex Price heads up the wine team at Bar Crispin

Overall thoughts:

The all-female front of house team at Bar Crispin work really hard on giving this small bar/restaurant a big heart. Service is thoughtful and super-friendly and it's a super spot either to take a quick break from shopping with a glass and a snack, or to revive post-work with a longer supper. A great pitstop for Carnaby.


More about Bar Crispin

Where is it? 19 Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5PY

How to book:  Book online

Find out more: On their website or follow them on Instagram @bar_crispin.

Hot Dinners dined as guests of Bar Crispin. Prices are correct at the time of publication.


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