Open now for a couple of months, Souli is a small and attractive takeaway in the heart of Marylebone. I had an exceptionally satisfying lunch there about a week back, finished up by one of of the best espressos I’ve had in London this year. According to affable owner, Hella Souli, the concept behind her eponymous eatery is to offer “high end restaurant quality” food in an efficient and friendly cafe setting – fine takeaway if you will.
Soup, sandwiches, salads, juice – that’s the lunchy kind of stuff you want when you’re on the go for strapped for time. If you’re in that situation and find yourself in Marylebone, you’re in luck. You can get all that sort of sustenance at Souli with the only main difference between what it offer and that of any nearby competition being that Souli’s food is actually very tasty and doesn’t seem to skimp on the quality. I loved my cauliflower soup (with freshly made croutons – ooh la la!); my half of a porchetta sandwich on sourdough (about or just under £2.50 for the half); a pert carrot/apple/ginger juice; and a surprisingly scrumptious quinoa cashew and cranberry salad. If it lived or worked in the area, I’d be in there often, usually ordering that quinoa salad during most of my visits.
I’d be coming round to Souli for coffee all the time as well. Hella and co get their beans from Rome’s age old self roasting cafe and coffee supplier, Il Caffé Sant’Eustacchio. Wow! Toasty and full-on with the flavour, my double shot of Sant’Eustacchio yielded just the sort of tasty hit I was after. The coffee was expertly pulled too, I might add. Tea snobs might be interested knowing Souli serves Parisian brand, Mariage Fréres.
Souli looks and feels like somewhere you’d like to slip into during a typical London lunch break: uncluttered with a pale wash robin’s egg on the wooden walls with prepared foods and artisanal breads as the main décor elements displayed in a rustic and restrained style. It’s predominately a ‘get it to go’ establishment, but there’s comfortable seating. I reckon most folks could enjoy an ample meal (open for breakfast and lunch only at the moment) a la Souli for around a fiver, and they’d be doing themselves a right tasty favour when doing so!
Souli is located at 17 George Street, W1U 3QL. Find out more at soulifood.com.