Rowley’s is just the ticket for heritage-hungry tourists and St James’s suited-and-booted legions who prefer their grub resolutely simple – a slice of good old tradition, culinary clichés and all. That said, the owners have recently responded to the changing needs of this regenerated part of town by tweaking their offer, shortening the menu and serving food all day. Char-grilled sirloin steak and Cumbrian chicken suprême are now the only main courses, accompanied by unlimited French fries and Rowley’s special herb and Roquefort butter sauce (available to take away), while the remainder of the concise menu is old school to the core – from chicken liver pâté or Forman’s smoked salmon to sticky toffee pudding or vanilla pannacotta. The interior mixes gilt-framed mirrors, wood floors and original tiling with nods to the building’s previous incarnation as the original Wall’s sausage shop.
A great list for this venue: compact, clear and well priced. There are plenty of regions and grapes that the wine novice would recognise, but there’s also some interesting stuff for the cognoscenti to get their teeth into: Grüner Veltliner, Italian Pinot Nero, Slovenian Pinot Gris, and English fizz. Even better, the majority of the wines are under £25.
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