Lorelei: Retro Italian Restaurant in SOHO, LONDON

Lorelei SOHOLorelei SOHOLorelei SOHO

Lorelei(ローレライ)は、SOHO Squareの少し南、Bateman Streetにある、イタリアン・レストラン。緑・白・赤のイタリア国旗色に塗られた外壁と、ドイツ風の名前が何ともミスマッチな、テーブル数10余りの小さいレストランで、夫婦(いつも二人なので夫婦だと思うのだけれど)が2人で切り盛りしている。イタリア人?のだんなさんが調理、東南アジア?出身の奥さんがフロアサービスを担当。店内は、フォーマイカのテーブルやリノリウム張りの床と、1950年代から時間が止まったかのような不思議な空間。壁には、店名である、あのローレライ伝説の人魚とライン川が描かれている。奥さんはいつも草履だかスリッパだかを履いていて、パタパタと音を立てながらのんびりとキッチンとテーブル間を歩き回っており、そのマイペースぶりがレトロなインテリアと相まって、妙にリラックスさせる。トイレは、何と屋外。寒い冬は、ちょっと辛い。


メニューは、セントラルロンドンにありながら、超リーズナブル。二人でいつも合計£20ちょっとだ(+チップ)。私たちのメニューはいつも決まっている。私がラザーニャ+フレンチフライ(£7。カロリー高そう。。。でもサラダも選べる)、MはSpaghetti Napoletan(トマトソース)、トマトベースのスープ、トマトサラダとトマト三昧だ。味は、本格的イタリアンというより、おばあちゃんが作りそうな懐かしい味。だからMはこの店を、なんかしっくり来ない「ローレライ」ではなく、「おばあちゃんの店(Grandmother’s Place)」と呼んでいる。スパゲッティも、アルデンテではなくもっちり。でもトマトソースはシンプルで甘くて、ほっとする味だ。食べたことはないが、ピザも美味しいらしい。

アルコール類は銘柄不明の薄い安物ビールしかないので、美味しいお酒を飲みたい人はBYO(Bring Your Own:持ち込み)を。持ち込み料がいるかどうかはわからないので、行く前にお店の人に確認して下さい。

The Lorelei | 21 Bateman Street, Soho, London W1D 3AL | 020 7734 0954

The ‘Lorelei’ is an retro-style Italian restaurant located on Bateman Street, on the south of SOHO Square in SOHO. Its German name seems to mismatch with the exterior wall painted in green, white and red, as Italian flag. The Lorelei is a tiny restaurant with around 10 tables, and is managed by a middle age couple (we assume they are a couple but I’ve never asked). The Italian? husband cooks and the South Asian? wife (also pretty mismatch, too) takes care of customers. You feel time-traveled to 1950’s with the formica tables and the linoleum floor. There  is a large wall painting of a mermaid and the Rhine river, motifs of the Lorelei folklore. The wife always wears slippers or flip flop?, and the pit-a-pat sound, when she walks around slowly between kitchen and tables, makes me really relaxed, together with the dark-lit retro interior. The bathroom is outside, and it is a bit pain to go to the toilet in the cold winter.

The customers of the Lorelei are normally either young students, or the left-wings who experienced a student movement in 60’s (this is just my impression – sorry if I am wrong). The weekend may be packed, but it is normally quiet when we go later time. Today was, for some reasons, an Italian day – a young couple, an old man reading newspapers and talking with the owner, and M, except the owner’s wife and me.

The prices are ultra reasonable as of a restaurant in SOHO. The bill is always around £20 (+tip) for two person. Our orders are always the same – homemade Lasagne with chips for me (only £7), pretty high in calories, but you can choose salad if you prefer, and Spaghetti Napoletana (tomato sauce), soup, and tomato salad, everything tomatoes for M. The tastes are more like a homy grandma cooking than authentic Italian cuisine. M called the restaurant “Grandmother’s place” than their rather unsuited name ‘Lorelei’. Spaghetti is not cooked Al Dente, but it is OK this case. Tomato sauce is simple and sweet, and it is a comfort food for us. We’ve never try their pizza, but the online reviews are pretty good.

The Lorelei has only no-brand cheap beer – if you want to drink alcohol, do BYO (bring your own). I am not sure if they charge for BYO drinks, so check before you go.

Lorelei SOHO

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One response to “Lorelei: Retro Italian Restaurant in SOHO, LONDON

  1. Pingback: Milk Bar @ Bateman Street, SOHO | everydaylife.style

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