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This sibling of Village East and the Riding House Café in Victoria’s new Nova development is named after its proximity to the station and, with 330 covers, can accommodate almost as many diners as rush-hour at a London terminus. Sadly, Nova isn’t as charming a setting as Bermondsey or Fitzrovia but the designers have made a good fist of trying to create something with character amid all the plate glass, even if the scene outside looks more like Singapore than central London. There’s a similar internationalism to a menu that namechecks fashionable ingredients and techniques such as freekeh and ceviche, but we were disappointed with our dinner, finding average food and some ambitious pricing. Basics such as a doorstop cheeseburger and crispy chilli squid are done proficiently, but venture further into the menu and things can go awry: truffled mac ‘n’ cheese tasted mainly of (unadvertised) mushrooms and had a claggy texture, while overcooked prawns came in a meagre portion, considering the price tag. Just like Riding House, Rail House is best as a buzzy breakfast venue thanks to plenty of appealing early-morning options and all that natural light, or come back later for cocktails and draft beers in the first-floor bar.
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