Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery, King's Road , London, SW3 4LY

Gallery Mess - restaurant

SquareMeal Review of Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery

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.

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8.0

Food & Drink: 8.4

Service: 7.4

Atmosphere: 7.4

Value: 8.6

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 5.0

Duncan L. 03 December 2014

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...

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Stephan v. 04 December 2013

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.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 12 September 2012

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.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Magdalena P. 22 February 2012

I have just recently discovered the Gallery Mess and I was quite impressed. I just came in for a coffee and a quick bite and wasn't really planning to have a meal there. The look of food on the nearby table and general atmosphere of the place made me feel really at home and my friend and I ended up having a full meal including the chicken salad with quinoa & pomegranate and beer battered fish & chips . It was delicious! The food was fresh and well cooked. The iced chocolate fondant I had for desert was really nice: the chocolate rich and soft, totally worth all the workout it will take to burn it off! The service was fine but the waitress never came back to refill our water. I have also really liked the decor – simple and elegant with some lovely pieces of art. Overall a very nice surprise and lovely meal.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Maggie bronze reviewer 11 March 2011

Having often walked aimlessly down the Kings Road looking for something a bit more substantial to eat than Pret or EAT, i was pleasantly surprised at having stumbled across the Gallery mess at the Saatchi Gallery. They serve food from 12pm till close which was perfect for my Mum and I as we found ourselves hungry after wandering around the Saatchi Gallery at 4pm, normally an awkward in-between-lunch-and-dinner time. It has floor to ceiling glass windows that look out over Duke of York Square and you don't realise quite how much space they have until you walk through the dining room to the bathrooms. It has a very relaxed brasserie feel with smart wait staff who move subtly through the restaurant without much notice of the guests. We ordered a bottle of the Chateau Gassier Cote de Provence Rose, crab bruschetta, tomato and onion salad and dressed leaves. The food matched beautifully with the wine and had fresh tasting ingredients in a decent portion size for the price. We ended up spending 4 hours at our table and finished with a delicious rhubarb crumble and a selection of cheeses washed down with fresh mint tea. The service was very good, we were an obvious ‘mother and daughter putting the world to rights’ and were gratefully left alone for the most part of our visit, but because there was always a member of staff on the floor we could easily grab someone's attention when we needed it. Being in my local area i will definitely pop back for a light lunch and that beautiful rose wine, it started to get slightly busy around pre-theatre time as the Cadogan Hall and Royal Court are just down the road on Sloane Square, but this only added to the atmosphere.

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Private Dining Room
Capacity: 60