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Rochelle Canteen at the ICA (Restaurant)

Restaurants, British The Mall
4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

An all-day restaurant in the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Everything comes on plain white plates at this all-day space in the Institute of Contemporary Art (tip: book ahead to avoid paying £1 to become a day ‘member’). Sibling to Shoreditch’s original Rochelle Canteen, it’s an equally simple spot, with statement arched windows that look out on to The Mall and fill it with light. The room is left bare – just white tables, white chairs and a scatter of indoor plants – so the food (British, seasonal) can shine, and it does. All dishes were delicious; some worthy of a return trip.

Little nuggets of deep-fried sweetbreads were crisp and lovely with a little lemon juice squeezed over the top. Later, there was an unbelievably tender rabbit pie with flaky puff pastry and a rich, garlicky broth (that’s what I’m going back for) and a squab pigeon, dark and tender, served with a side of peas, bacon and gravy. As a finale, a few pastel-pink poached peaches came on a plate next to a dollop of cream and a sweet caramel meringue.

The daily-changing menu could have done with a few lighter options on my visit (not everyone wants pigeon pie for a summer lunch), but with its relaxed atmosphere, prime location and delicious food, dining at Rochelle was an absolute delight. It felt like a moment of complete calm, with staff who couldn’t have been more switched-on or welcoming. It’s not groundbreaking, just simple hospitality at its finest. I want to throw Rochelle in the face of every restaurant owner who’s ever skimped on staff training but spent £800 on a chair.

By: Kelly Pigram

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Details

Address: Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall
St. James's
London
SW1Y 5AH
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £115.
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