For many years, I was proud to be one of the judges of the Worst Restaurant in Soho Award. The annual event was cancelled a few years ago when the organizers felt that it had drifted from its original aim of recognizing the most cynical and shallow of the over-moneyed shysters who invest in dire over-priced Korean tapas lounges, themed ‘concepts’ and ‘exciting dining experiences’. Instead, the sponsors felt, it was becoming an exercise in cruelty, tormenting naïve idiots stupid enough to sign extortionate leases with the local landlords (something to do with the spate of suicides every year after the awards announcements).
So the competition was relaunched as the Soho Restaurant That Isn’t A Crap Rip-off Award. There were no winners for a while – one or two sort of came close, but were too pretentiousness or otherwise annoying to make the grade. Anyway, we actually have a winner this year: take a bow, LoveEat. Their motto: ‘screw thinking up a zappy name or flashy website, just make authentic Persian fare’. Don’t miss the mirza ghasemi.