A Milanaise bakery with more style than substance
Princi Soho is a Milanese bakery which is a great all-day option and good location to meet with friends and sample the Italian delights on offer. It’s a feast for the eyes with a huge long counter starting with dessert and patisseries when you first enter moving into the luncheon phase of pizzas, breads and salads and somewhat hidden at the far end more substantial hot food options like meatballs and lasagnes.
Everything is cooked fresh on the premises, and its open early for breakfast right through to late night dinner. Prices are higher than average, but it’s all good quality, seasonal stuff.
We met an old friend, the talented and super fashionable Holly Fowler, she suggested Koya but with a 30minute + outdoor wait we sacked it off and walked round to our second choice Princi. It was a Tuesday evening and as with most places in Soho pretty busy and popular with the after work crowd but somehow we managed to waltz straight in! The designated door man offered us serviced (left hand side of restaurant with a small queue) or help yourself (canteen style right hand side of restaurant), we opted for self service and bee lined for an empty portion of a table. I get the feeling this isn’t that common but I have hawk eyes when it comes to nabbing tables. The interior is stylish, with an informal but classy vibe and buzzing atmosphere.
We sat before choosing our food. A waitress came and took our drinks order, trying hard to up-sell our choices to a £45 bottle of sparkling wine but failed and we went for the cheapest bottle of red at £20, which is really steep for your cheapest offering.
Gary went off to peruse the options and returned with an Parma Ham and Artichoke pizza slice (£4.60) and a small place of Trout and Potato Salad (£4.60), this whetted our appetite so Holly and I sidled up to the counter and began to select our food. The waiters were nice and offered tasters which was helpful if, like me, you find it hard to choose. We got some more pizza – a Pepperoni slice and a folded Focaccia Caprese with mozzarella and tomato, some pastry rolls filled with ham and spinach (3 of each) and a large plate of salad (£7.80) with four options including italian mozzarella rocket and tomato salad, pasta, aubergine and giant cous cous.
For dessert Holly picked up three; two chocolate options – a Pear & Chocolate Cake recommended by the waiter which was quite dry, the other was a Amaretto & Chocolate Trancio, which was seriously chocolatey, a bit heavy and definitely needed someone to share it with. The third however, a Passionfruit Cheesecake didn’t disappoint. It was absolutely delicious.
We had a really laid back meal pouring over the food and all having a bit of everything its good for sharing and the bench style tables work well. It can get busy and theres not a lot of room for diners but it still felt intimate for us three. I would say this place has more style than substance, the food was fresh but I felt the salads lacked flavour, they looked more appetising than they tasted which was disappointing.
The self service area I imagine can be a bit hit and miss you could have trouble finding somewhere to perch and the queuing up with a tray isn’t that appealing but once you’ve nabbed a space you won’t feel rushed out. However If you want a calmer experience and theres four or more of you, you should probably opt for dining in the pizzeria.
|Princi Salad (L)||£7.80|
|Princi Salad (S)||£4.60|
|Salami & Gorgonzola Pizza||£4.30|
|Parma Ham & Artichoke Pizza||£4.30|
|Ham Dough Balls (3)||£2.10|
|Spinach Dough Balls (3)||£2.10|
|Pear & Chocolate Cake||£4.40|
|Amaretto & Chocolate Trancio||£4.20|