This modern restaurant, bar and grill has taken over the premises formerly occupied by the short-lived The Woodford, which was headed up by wunderkind chef Ben Murphy (he’s now at Kensington’s Launceston Place.)
In its new guise as The Gallery, the space is a glamorous proposition, featuring booths adorned with strings of gold beads for an added touch of privacy, a marble-topped bar serving up Insta-friendly cocktails, and a chic 12-seat private dining room. Fun touches suggest that none of it is meant to be taken too seriously – look out for the ‘press for cocktails’ buttons, reminiscent of Bob Bob Ricard, and the satirical artworks which line the walls.
The menu majors in seafood and steaks cooked on a Josper grill, alongside an à la carte of luxe comfort food. Overall, it impresses: a starter of pork ribs brushed with a honey and ginger glaze is delightfully tender, while plump and juicy tiger prawns are sprinkled with chilli and garlic, and served on crunchy toasted sourdough.
From the mains, wild mushroom and truffle cream compensated for the slightly rubbery texture of spinach and ricotta ravioli. From a list of indulgent desserts (think lemon curd cheesecake or dark chocolate fondant), we loved our rich and crumbly sticky toffee pudding, served in a steel pan and accompanied by a miniature jug of Bourbon sauce.
An affordable (and extensive) list of by-the-glass wines is available, while those looking to go big can splurge on bottles of Champagne with prices running into the hundreds. The Gallery is likely to attract the flashy Essex crowd, but with its cosy atmosphere, sweet service and a homely Sunday lunch offering, there’s more to this grill than just its glamour.