Saturday, 21 May 2011

What a Difference a PR Makes: The Riding House Café

Big up to the PRs behind the opening of the Riding House Cafe as it’s been getting press all over the place, from website e-zines to big name critics, and luckily (cause it’s rather fabulous), the reviews are all sounding dreamy.

We even spotted sexy silver-haired celeb George Lamb having a drink in the bar when we visited.

Riding House Café: What’s The Deal? Taking over a previous restaurant, which barely lasted a year (RIP Chutney & Larger), on a ground-floor site on Great Titchfield Street, I could hardly believe the transformation yesterday when I popped in for lunch with one of my buddies from work.

Riding House Café is the sister restaurant to two Bermondsey sites Village East and The Garrison which have both been quietly ticking away to gentle acclaim for a good few years now.

Riding House Café: How Does It Look?: Subway tiles, plenty of light, a huge circular bar and sharing tables on one side and distressed orange leather sofas, huge hanging cream lampshades and questionable taxidermy in the restaurant (see photo).

Riding House Café: The Food: The menu is free and easy. You can order large or small plates any time of day and most things sound pretty appealing. We settled on sharing three small plates and a main.

1. Beetroot carpaccio, sheep’s ricotta, merlot vinaigrette – Gorgeous and fresh and I’m all for a bit of sexing up of this underrated vegetable.

2. Chermoula spiced poussin, jalapeno, lemon – Beautiful looking couscous peppered with small flecks of red and green er … pepper. The poussin was cooked to perfection, Soft, pink and succulent. I was expecting something a bit more fiery than pickled jalapeno pieces though.

3. Goat’s curd, figs, honey – Okay so maybe we didn’t need to order quite so much whipped cheese? Sorry Laura. The goat’s curd was light and lovely and paired nicely with the figs and honey but the figs did lack flavour slightly.

4. Chorizo hash browns, mushroom and poached egg – The hero dish of our meal by far. I’d eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner and If I was hungover I’d order two in a row. Perfectly poached eggs, big Portobello mushrooms and Chorizo with hash brown is a genius addition to tasty fried spud.

Riding House Café: Toilet Watch: Get past the stuffed pigeon on the stairwell and take a left. The bogs have a touch of a warehouse feel to them: brick walls and exposed copper taps. Each loo has its own basin complete with hand-wash and lotion.

Riding House Café: The Final Word: It’s buzzy, fun, relaxed and serves up great food and booze. I’m coming back soon to work my way through the rest of the menu…..

The Riding House Café:

The Riding House Cafe on Urbanspoon

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