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Test Driving Sucre & Abajo - the hot new Latin American bar and restaurant in Soho

sucre restaurant london soho reviewThe dining room at Sucre definitely has the wow factor.

What do we need to know about Sucre and Abajo?

This new Soho opening is a two-level affair. Underground, you've got the sexy new bar by world-renowned bartender Tato Giovanonni. On the ground floor, there's the first London restaurant from Latin American restaurant superstar Fernando Trocca. Together it's a veritable powerhouse of talent hitting up London for the first time.

Where exactly is it?

You'll find it halfway along Great Marlborough Street (so Oxford Circus would be the closest tube). It's part of a redevelopment of the old London College of Music - one of the few remnants of 18th century London in this area.

Where should we meet for a drink first?

There is a separate bar for the restaurant upstairs but we think you'll want to head downstairs to Abajo. This dramatic cocktail bar takes inspiration from 1980s Buenos Aires, from the soundtrack (there are a lot of 80s hits) to its industrial look. And they use the darkness to showcase the brightly hued drinks, which are - in the most part - served to you on underlit coasters. It's an effective trick which means the dark bar has bursts of neon colour on every table.

sucre restaurant london soho reviewSomething Yellow - featuring Altos Tequila, Strega, banana, turmeric, pollen and dry tonic

And the restaurant?

The restaurant has taken over what used to be the music school's concert hall and they've effected quite the transformation. There's an open kitchen at one end, booths all along the right-hand wall and the room is dominated by loads of gorgeous chandeliers. Designer Noriyoshi Muramatsu is the man responsible for this - you'll know his work from Zuma, Roka and Ichibuns.

sucre restaurant london soho reviewThe chandeliers are amazing - look closely and you'll see they're made from loads of decanters.

What's on the menu?

Trocca's aim for Sucre was to serve up "old world flavours and modern ideas all through the lens of Latin American open-fire cooking". So you'll find European produce given a Latin American treatment. To give you an idea, here's what we tried:

sucre restaurant london soho reviewAged Cheddar and onion empanada (£4) - a good example of that marriage between old and new worlds.

sucre restaurant london soho reviewSmoked cod's roe with chicory and bottarga (£7) - lovely little snacks.

sucre restaurant london soho reviewDorset crab tostada with avocado and tatemada (£14) - an absolute whopper of a tostada with the sweetest, freshest crab and salsa.

sucre restaurant london soho reviewCod in bone sauce with samphire and tarragon (£24)

sucre restaurant london soho reviewVeal sweetbreads with criolla (£9) - we find it hard to resist sweetbreads if they're on the menu. You should definitely order these if they are on when you go.

Room for dessert?

We wanted pretty much everything off the dessert menu, but only had room to share one, so it obviously had to be the fondant cake.

sucre restaurant london soho reviewDulce de leche fondant with whisky and hazelnuts (£9) - eat this and you'll stagger out full but happy.

What about the wine?

As you might imagine the wine list has plenty of South American labels but also offers a choice of European wines too. We opted for a fresh and zippy Torrontés from Argentina.

Summing up: 

If you're looking for somewhere to get all dressed up, Sucre is the spot. You'll need your glad rags on to live up to the glamour of this gorgeous new dining room, and the bonus of having Abajo downstairs means this would be a great place to get any weekend started.

 

More about Sucre

Where is it? 47 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7JP

How to book: online

Find out more: On their website or follow them on Instagram @sucre.london and @abajo.london

 

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