This American-style diner on Old Compton Street in the heart of Soho is a bustling purveyor of cocktails, French-American cuisine and a great buzz. The tables are packed in tight, meaning the atmosphere is charged – even on a Monday evening when we visited it was packed to the rafters – and the gold and wood stylings give it a classic and yet contemporary feel.

With the kitchen centred in the heart of the room, too, you always feel you are right at the middle of the action.

The Food:

Calories be damned – the menu is too enticing, so we jump in headfirst with little pause for our waistlines. My dining compatriot opts for the crab cocktail, which is a tangy delight. I plump for the raw veg and dips selection – it sounded like the healthy option that would leave me plenty of room for tackling the biggest, meatiest main I could find, but what arrives is a sizeable plate loaded three inches high with carrot, cauliflower, celery and more. Best plans may be out the window, but it is delicious.

The Philly cheese steak sandwich is a gluttonous delight, and the cheese burger equally so, especially as I decide to take on the double burger incarnation, which is a towering concoction of beef, bacon, cheese,salad and a brioche bun. It is, quite simply, wonderful.

With bellies full we decided dessert is not advisable, but then we cast our eyes over the menu and our best intentions go out the window yet again. Chocolate brownie it is and a smart decision we have made. Although the sticky toffee pudding is a close-run second.

The drinks:

Cocktails on tap such as Cosmopolitan and Ginger Collins are thoroughly ace and impossible to avoid, while beers include Curious Brew, Brooklyn Brown Ale and Flying Dog’s Snake Dog.

Cheque, please:

Starters from £4; mains from £7; desserts from £4; cocktails £6.50; draught beers from £2.50; bottled beer from £4; wine from £5 (by the glass)

Our verdict:

Great food, great service and great atmosphere in the heart of Soho –it is near impossible not to have a top night out here.

19-21 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JJ

Nearest Tube: Leicester Square