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1 August 2014
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The Rex Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britain

Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

£42.00 British Westminster
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  • Wine: £21.00
  • Champagne: £50.00
  • Lunch: £17/£21/£27 (1/2/3 courses)
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11.45am-3pm

Square Meal Review of The Rex Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britain ?

Tate Britain’s main restaurant has re-launched with a revamped look, a new menu and a renewed commitment to fine wines. The determinedly masculine room is dominated by an all-enveloping Rex Whistler mural that takes visitors on a mystical trek through a strange surreal landscape, although oenophiles will be more interested in gazing at the wine list – a fabulous compendium that groans with vinous treasures and enticing half-bottles, often at market-defying prices. For us, Langoa-Barton 2001 at £58 and a half of Pichon-Baron 2004 at £42 both caught the eye or, for deeper wallets, a 2003 Echézeaux Domaine Dujac at a ridiculously generous £180. There are signs of renewed ambition in the kitchen too, though sensibly simple executions don’t try to outshine the cellar. Glisteningly fresh Dorset crab has impressed, and there’s nothing mean-minded about daily roasts, succulent baked cod with crushed Jerusalem artichokes or a show-stealing dish of partridge breast accompanied by chanterelles and parsley oats. Patriotic puds such as tasty apple crumble also avoid complications. In short, a classic London restaurant that knows its trump card is in the cellar. (Please note: the restaurant opens bi-monthly on the first Friday evening of that month to coincide with the gallery opening late.)

Wine List Of The Year Finalist

As you might expect for the Tate Britain’s restaurant, this is a classically-hearted wine list. Yet there is plenty going on here to show that wine buyer Hamish Anderson is pushing the boundaries where he can. Yes, there’s plenty of good older claret and Burgundy, but there are also aged Australian reds and Rieslings, and (as you might expect for a lunchtime venue) a decent half-bottle and by-the-glass selection, too. Clear, easy to navigate and informative, it’s perfect for its purpose while still modern and full of personality.

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