With a name like Freak Scene and a website holding back on images, interiors and menus, I’d conjured an expectation of some slicked back Soho spot. After all, it’s on the same stretch as Ronnie Scott’s and Chotto Matte and has a famous chef at the helm - Scott Hallsworth of Nobu and Kurobuta. Instead, we were greeted with a small space where Takeshi’s Castle was projected above the bar and diners surrounded an open-plan kitchen. Walls were plastered with posters from all sorts of pop culture, and if NWA propped next to Slipknot is any indication of the menu, we were in for a juxtaposition of flavours.
We’d come to try the Bruncho Box (£26) and armed with a couple of Freak Scene Fizzes (passion fruit and prosecco), we eased in with elevated chips and dip; crunchy tarot root united with a tangy kimcheese dip. Taking me back to Tokyo, the eclectic space evokes pan-Asian vibes from the atmosphere to the menu, which features gems like flame-grilled tea-smoked lamb. There's also black cod ‘tacos’ encased in a crunchy shell, salmon sashimi ‘pizza’ and deep-fried chunks of Singapore chicken resting in ‘cups’ of lettuce. However, it was the satisfying outer crunch and mushy inside of the artichoke chopstix coupled with a creamy truffle dipping sauce that really did it for me.
Dessert came in the form of not one, nor two, but three sweet treats; squidgy ice cream-filled mochi, hot chocolate mousse layered on sweet cherries and the elusive dragon fruit. Drinks were just as intriguing; with a Pineapple Rum (£10) which paired baby pineapple-infused aged rum with ginger ale and a cheeky Green Bastard (£9); a short and sharp mix of gin, melon liqueur, cucumber and lime. If you’re bored of the same old eggs benny and bloody marys that saturate London’s brunch scene, head to Freak Scene for a change of pace where unpretentious dining actually hits the spot.
Bruncho Boxes cost £26 and are served every Sunday from 12pm - 5pm. You'll find Freak Scene at 54 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SL, with live music from Thursday to Sunday.