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Saatchi Gallery, King's Road
The Saatchi Gallery’s Mess holds no truck with ‘museum restaurant’ stereotypes or touristy clichés – although we think it’s more of a pit-stop than a destination. Inside, a long, swish bar leads down to two monochrome dining rooms with splashes of colour from artwork on the walls, while a “killer outdoor space” gives stunning views of manicured Duke of York Square. Yummy mummies congregate here for coffee, while art buffs take a culture break for a light lunch with a glass of wine. The menu delivers simple, honest flavours at fair prices: soused mackerel with kohlrabi and dill vinaigrette; Waldorf salad; BBQ pork belly with pumpkin purée, braised endive and cider jus; red pepper and goats’ cheese ravioli – plus steaks, burgers and desserts such as warm chocolate brownie with honeycomb and salted-caramel ice cream. Also worth a punt for afternoon tea and Sunday brunch.
Saatchi Gallery, King's Road
Sloane Square Tube Station 404m
South Kensington Tube Station 988m
Sloane Square 176m
Peter Jones 296m
Mon-Sun 9am-11.30pm (Sat-Sun -7pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
We arrived to be told that they didn't have our reservation although i had booked on line a few days before. The explanation was that the person creating the handwritten list for the evening's bookings had for some reason not included ours (clearly a slick system operating here!). The main restaurant was full (Fri evening) so we had to sit at a table in the annex which was dark and practically empty with zero atmosphere. The apology was not particularly effusive and we were offered no compensation, free drink etc and the full service charge was included on the bill. Its a shame because the food was very good (particularly the starters such as beef carpaccio with truffle sauce and scotch egg with black pudding) and it was all pretty good value as well. Not sure if we will go back though given their 'russian roulette' booking system...
Went there by chance and because reviews had been quite positive. The menu is quite simple with limited selection which initially made me wonder. But service was faultless and when the food arrived the quality was just very good. Simple – but good. Caesar salad was fresh and crispy. Panfried Pollock with Jerusalem artichokes just perfectly balanced in terms of taste and texture. Blackberry & apple crumble only so-so – not quite the positive surprise of the other two dishes. But will definitely return for more enjoyable food experience.
You'd think calling a restaurant “Mess” would be an invitation to disaster. And adding the words “at the Saatchi Gallery” hardly likely to inspire more confidence. Fortunately you'd barely realise that the restaurant is in any way connected with next door's collection as the only clue is an occasional oversized “artwork”. Nor is there any reason to suppose the name is a reference to some sort of officer dining room or trendy deconstructed cuisine. Apart from the confusing name, everything about this place is well thought through. There's a lovely (but very popular) terrace on the side overlooking a green, great for sunny lunches; a small but West End worthy bar, good for cocktails, a quiet drink or an afternoon coffee; and a rather capacious, but still intimate, restaurant for a more formal setting. I've been here a fair few times but it normally gets chosen because it's so fitting for so many different occasions rather than because of the food itself. But I had an early supper here last night with a girlfriend and had a really great meal: fish, perfectly cooked and flaky, in a thick, crunchy batter, on a generous pile of chips with beautifully gritty mushy peas. The only downside was that the flakiness made it a bit difficult to pile onto the fork and shovel into my mouth. And perhaps my friend's pumpkin ravioli looked a bit on the small side (although, being less greedy than me, she didn't comment). Service was very good: we only had a glass of wine each, asked for tap water, were just having mains etc but we were served with undiminished professionalism and friendliness, were spared any awkward attempts at upselling with wine/sides/water and were left to linger happily over coffees. At around £27 a head it was money very well spent for a pleasant evening. I shall be back no doubt for many more meals and drinks as it really is a reliable choice in the area.
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