I’ve recently had a lovely run of meet-ups with good food and good company in great spaces, completely free of Internet weirdos. So here’s a run-down of June’s favourite eats.
59 Wells Street, London W1A 3AE | ottolenghi.co.uk/rovi
Stepping away from our usual Yotam Ottolenghi haunt in Soho, NOPI, I recently enjoyed Sunday brunch with friends in a more relaxed setting. We still love NOPI, which is our regular haunt for Sunday brunches, but this new larger space was still something worth enjoying, and perhaps we will now rotate our Sunday brunch meets between the two.
Whilst some of Ottolenghi’s familiar dishes have also made their way to this new establishment (such as the shakshuka), new items on the ROVI menu include familiar dishes for those that would consider themselves as less adventurous. However, these are no less a contender to Ottolenghi’s more exotic dishes and you may find yourself having more than one plate so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
The banana bread is worth a punt. Lightly toasted, the quantity is just about enough that it makes an excellent second plate, but also of a certain density that makes it filling if you want it as your main plate. The jams and preserves are homemade and the banana jam is definitely worth a try.
The restaurant is busy, but still maintains a relaxed atmosphere. Ingredients to be used that day are on shelves that are on full display to the main dining area, which is open plan next to the kitchen, so you’re able to see plates when they’re ready and see if there’s anything else that takes your fancy.
London Steakhouse Company
386 King’s Road, London SW3 5UZ | londonsteakhousecompany.com
Owned by Marco Pierre White, I decided to drop into the Chelsea branch with a friend from uni for a set menu lunch on Wednesday afternoon. It really doesn’t look like much from the outside and it actually looks quite small, but once inside it’s a quiet and relaxed setting take makes you forget you’re on the busy King’s Road.
The £49 set menu lunch was a result of me picking up a steal of an experience voucher for two people (which also let me apply student discount) for £71.40. This also included tickets for two people to visit The Shard, but the voucher allowed us to book this on separate dates, so we have decided to go on Friday evening. Without the voucher, lunch would’ve cost us £65 in total, which is pretty good value for a 3-course meal plus drinks. At the time of writing, it is possible to pick up the same voucher from the restaurant’s website for £96. Sauces and sides cost extra, but even if you order a side outside of the voucher’s coverage, it’s not going to break the bank.
The food came quickly and the staff were very welcoming and accommodating. The set menu included a cocktail each and although my friend wasn’t drinking alcohol, the staff had prepared her a very worth mocktail. Sadly, there were no pictures of the main as I was starving, but rest assured that the steak was cooked to perfection and the flavour worked well on its own without any need for sauces.
Desserts were wonderful and full-sized, not that it stopped me from wanting more….
Matcha and Beyond
191 King’s Road, London SW3 5ED | matchaandbeyond.com
In need of another dessert after my lunch, we dropped into this lovely little cafe which sold vegan soft-serve style ice cream, cakes, health snacks and treats. Matcha-based drinks, both hot and cold were also their big selling point. Many baked goods sold were also gluten free.
The prices were typical for matcha products, but the matcha ice cream really was worth it (pictured above is the ‘small’, which is actually anything but). There were many variations of the soft-serve offered, including a ‘swirl’ variety which was a combination of matcha and coconut. The dairy-free dessert meant it was more of a sorbet consistency, but nevertheless tasty and refreshing for a hot day and the walk along the King’s Road back to Sloane Square.