Please note, Rochelle Canteen has now extended its opening hours and gained an alcohol license. Time Out Food editors, October 2017.
Eating at Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson’s daytime-only spot remains a distinctive treat: entry is via a buzzer on a tiny door in the wall of an old Victorian school on Arnold Circus, now a hub of creative studios.
Inside, a handful of outdoor tables and a former bike shed converted into an airy, modern space act as the canteen for the creatives working here, and those lucky outsiders in the know. Once you’re one of them, you’ll find a short but enticing menu that, on our visit, included a pea soup with bantam egg and mint; grilled quails and green sauce; rabbit rillettes; and a pork chop with mustard and chard. The latter was perfect – the meat slightly charred on the outside, with a hint of pink in the middle and, best of all, a broad ribbon of melting fat and crispy skin running along one side. A colourful platter of herb gnocchi with courgettes and peppers tasted as lovely as it looked, and a dessert of chocolate pots was to die for, in just the way an indulgent, luscious chocolate dessert should be.
Newcomers to the Shoreditch dining scene can come and go, Rochelle Canteen stands firm, and stands out.