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Picturehouse Central Restaurant

Restaurants, Cafés Piccadilly Circus
3 out of 5 stars
 (© James McDonald)
© James McDonald
 (© James McDonald)
© James McDonald

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Some good food, and an attractive space to eat it, in (believe it or not) the Trocadero.

Dine at the Trocadero? Really? That’s what we thought. But change has come to this one-time temple to sullen teens, arcade games and pushy street hawkers. The cinema has been taken over by Picturehouse, a group that’s had a fair bit of success in making down-at-heel venues more appetising. And most of that success has come by way of taking the food offer well beyond dodgy hot dogs, overpriced popcorn and sweaty Perspex cupboards of penny chews.

There’s a café on the ground floor and a restaurant one floor up. The restaurant certainly looks the part, with Martin Brudnizki’s good-looking riff on a Manhattan loft-apartment ticking off all the still-just-about-on-trend staples – bare brickwork, wood flooring, etc. The only real complaint comes from the deep bucket armchairs and sinking sofas: they’re fine if you’re having a beer or coffee, but leaning back to find your cutlery out of reach is a drag.

The food on our visit was inconsistent but it gets more than a few brownie points for affordability – dishes average out around the £10 mark. A green papaya salad accompanying four chunks of char-grilled tuna steak lacked punch and sweetness but the fish was seasoned well and taken off the grill just in the nick of time. Focaccia fared less well. A topping of heritage tomato, Boilie’s goat’s cheese and basil was good but the bread itself wasn’t of great quality and the two slabs were big enough to use as seat cushions. Exquisitely sweet, judiciously battered onion rings were best of all, and we flicked covetous eyes at a good-looking bit of salmon as we left. Crosstown Doughnuts should bring a fair bit of street-cred, too.

In a part of town not averse to taking advantage of the wide-eyed tourist hordes, it’s good to see somewhere with at least one eye on repeat custom. While Picturehouse Central isn’t ever likely to be a leading lady, it should be more than capable of offering some perfectly decent support. 

By: Stephen Farmer



Address: The Trocadero
13 Coventry Street
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Opening hours: Café Mon-Fri 8.30am-11.30pm, Sat 9am-11.30pm, Sun 9.30am-11.30pm. Restaurant and bar 11.30am-11.30pm daily (last orders 10.30pm).
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