What: An upmarket French Riviera-themed restaurant on Soho’s Golden Square. Folie is hoping to ‘recreate the spirit of the 1960s and 1970s’ with its glitzy interior and fashionable staff. One suspects it’s pitched at a similar crowd to ‘press button for Champagne’ restaurant Bob Bob Ricard, which is just across the street.
Who: Folie is the creation of former Boundary Hotel operations director and Casa Cruz general manager Guillaume Depoix and marks his first solo project. The chef is Christopher Marleix, whose CV includes a long stint working with Alain Ducasse and - more recently - executive chef roles at The Dorchester Grill and private members club Annabel’s. High profile Parisian restaurateur Thierry Costes is apparently a key backer.
The vibe: Created by Chiltern Firehouse designer Studio KO, the 100-cover interior has a brightly coloured terrazzo floor, mirrored tables and rotund chairs shod in plush navy fabric. Folie is geared towards all-day dining with an area to drop in for a coffee to the front and a more intimate and marginally more formal restaurant area to the rear.
The food: Marleix’s menu is eclectic with nods to the cooking of Southern France. It kicks of with a wide selection of dishes that are billed by staff as either starters or small plates but are sized more in line with the latter and average out at £15. These include charcoal roasted octopus and butternut squash; sea bream, citrus and avocado; and raw artichoke and soft boiled egg. Nearly all north of £20, mains take in seared red mullet with bouillabaisse sauce; squid and celeriac carbonara with herb rice; and beef daube ‘Folie style’ which sees the meat shredded and neatly placed in mounds before being topped with the reduced braising liquor. Desserts include tarte Tropezienne; and coconut, roasted pineapple, mango and passion sorbet.
And another thing: The space that Folie occupies was until recently occupied by a PizzaExpress and a Greggs.