Kick Back And Relax At Rustiko Soho

rustiko pizzaWhen it’s sweaty and sultry in Soho, what you really need is a dark and dingy corner in a little speakeasy to keep (and look) cool. If you can find somewhere with a bit of Italian dolce vita sprinkled in amongst  the nouveau Brooklyn hipster vibe, then so much the better.

And it’s this perfect combo that embodies the feel of bar/restaurant Rustiko – a new kid on Old Compton Street’s block.

rustikoWhen Belle arrives,  we notice a few hipster clichés like the exposed brickwork and bearded blokes sipping from jam jars. It’s quite dark with an open bar and a soundtrack of blues playing. But once we started on the cocktails – a Bellini and an Aperol spritz (£9), Belle began to get into the Rusiko vibe, feeling at once transported to aperitivo hour in Milan infused with a heavy side order of Soho 2016. Both drinks were beautifully presented with a gorgeous pansy floating in the Bellini and they were well mixed and balanced.

Ready to order, we discovered that you can opt for a straightforward three courser of have the piattini – a range of small plates. We went old school and ordered fried scamorza wrapped in prosciutto and meatballs in a spicy sauce (£5) from the starter menu to share. Both were good but the scamorza – an Italian cheese – was the perfect smokey-salty combo and we were left looking forward to the main course.

For the main courses, Belle opted for a delicious, lightly cooked prawn linguine with  asparagus and sea bass served with tiny diced vegetables, beetroot chips and salsa verde (£16). Both dishes were nicely balanced and elegant.

We drank two glasses of the Casa Lunardi chardonnay from the Veneto region which was a great dry yet light accompaniment to the fishy mains (£20 for a bottle) and was recommended by the maitre d’, who was attentive and friendly with lots of helpful information about the menu.

For pudding, we took a trip to Sicily with a portion of cannoli and pistachio ice cream to share. Both were excellent – crispy cannoli shells with a good tangy ricotta centre while the pistachio ice cream (served in a kilner jar) packed a proper flavour punch.

Like a lot of Soho bars, Rustiko is one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it holes in the wall but with a fun atmosphere and friendly service. Whether you just choose a cocktail, nibbles or the full shebang, make sure you keep your eyes peeled and dive in.

  • Rustiko is at 37 Old Compton Street, LONDON, W1D 5JY, Book by calling 0207 7346 361 or email


Rebecca Wright

With one foot planted firmly in the world of real life journalism and her other toe dipping into the delights of food and travel writing, Rebecca likes to mix it up a bit.
A journalist with over ten years experience, she’s a Londoner born and bred and admits to a weakness for kitsch, cooking and la vie francaise.
Rebecca’s got an insatiable curiosity (read nosey parker) and loves nothing better than meeting new people and discovering new worlds.


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