Posted by Jo on Nov 27, 2011
My working week runs Sunday to Thursday which leaves me with the fortunate ability to be a ‘lady-what-lunches on a Friday afternoon. A group of four of us decided to indulge this week at the Riding House Cafe followed by a signature Martini at the Duke Street Hotel.
On arrival I was surprised at how different the building looked and felt compared its rather shoddy predecessor the Slug and Lettuce (a memory from my student days). As a nutritionist I feel I ought to stick to my remit and not venture into the realms of restaurant reviewing. There are stacks of reviews about the menu and ambience and service online so I’m going to give you a brief and breezy summary of what we thought was ‘hot’ and what was ‘not’:
- The natural light – not that it was literally hot/greenhouse vibes but that the glass front captures maximum sunlight – a bonus when it is dark at 4pm at this time of year.
- The decor – leather lounge seats, wood panels, smart glassware, tasselled lampshades and the taxidermied squirrels around a selection of light fittings.
- The menu is affordable and appealing. Lots of options and nothing too fancy. Brassiere through and through.
- Chicken liver parfait and ceviche got the thumbs up from the small plates; burger and line-caught pollock the favourite of our mains.
- The chopped retro 1970′s salad – it was a point of discussion and amusement
- Levi our amenable waiter who serenaded me with ‘Run the World’ by Beyonce
- Reggae beats in the ladies loos
- Espresso martinis (although they should come with a warning)
- Salt cod fritters were more of a dumpy, stodgy fishcake.
- Macaroni cheese was a total disappointment. We even sent it back once. The first one was ‘macaroni milk with burnt breadcrumbs’, the second a macaroni cheese without the essential crispy top.
- The excessive use of mobile phones throughout lunch.
I would certainly go back just to try a few more of those small plates and the breakfast which gets a good write up. The long bar is very inviting and would make a super venue for a date ….Any takers?