Sunday 17 April 2011

Breakfast at The Riding House Cafe

I've worked in the Great Titchfield Street area for the past 3.5 years and I've seen the transformation of this place. When I first made the move from Soho to Fitzrovia, it was a generic Slug & Lettuce, as bland as they come. Later, I laughed heartily at the name and endured many pints when it became Chutney n' Lager, a tacky restaurant / bar that would serve poppadums with your beer, with various sports on big screens. I usually stood outside.

In its new guise as The Riding House Cafe, the sleek teal and wood interiors and all day brasserie-style menu shows it means business and is here to stay. We clattered in at 8:30am on their official day of opening for a spot of breakfast. Workmen still flitted about, screwing in various bits and bobs.

Service was somewhat sketchy and we waited a while for menus, and then were given more menus even after we'd ordered. No matter, they were sweet and it was opening day after all. My companions were alarmed when our waitress suggested the bircher muesli. "Christ, do we look like muesli people?!" We shunned her suggestion and I ordered the Eggs Hussard, with an extra order of buttermilk pancakes with berries and clotted cream for a sweet note.

I wasn't sure what Bordelaise sauce was that came as part of my dish, but after one bite I was sure. Red wine sauce. With Hollandaise. At 9am. Oooof. A toasted slice, slowly soaking up the sauce was topped with good quality ham, a slice of tomato and wilted spinach, before being topped by two poached eggs and a generous helping of the aforementioned Hollandaise. While one egg was perfectly poached with a runny yolk, the other was over done and the yolk had set. The serious sleeps were starting to set in, but I soldiered on gamely.

Buttermilk pancakes has slightly crispy edges and fluffy innards. Drizzled with maple syrup and then smeared with some excellent clotted cream, the berries balanced out the sugar with a hearty tang. With coffee and service, the final bill came to £14 per person. Again, not an every day breakfast, but for a spot of indulgence.

I have no doubt that The Riding House Cafe will have more staying power than its predecessors. Having had a brief glimpse of their lunch menu, I know I'd be torn with indecision as everything sounded tasty. I hear they do good cocktails too...

The Riding House Cafe

43 - 51 Great Titchfield Street,
London W1W

Tel: 020 7927 0840

The Riding House Cafe on Urbanspoon


Jane - Kitchen Stools Direct said...

I think this place has a lot of potential, given its ambience and tapas style food servings. Ate in twice there already, and found it quite reasonably priced too. Thanks for your review and pix.

Grumbling Gourmet said...

Thank heavens. I've been watching it take form too from my offices just down the road, and am VERY happy to have another good lunch option.. Yalla Yalla is a fantastic addition to the neighbourhood, but not ideal for clients..

There is a little bit of me that pins for the previous inhabitants though... Curry and Lager, a wonderfully blunt tool, but a great Friday lunch spot when hungover!

Catherine said...

This is odd - years ago (1999/2000) that place was my regular when I was doing the LPC in Little Titchfield St - I think in those days it was a Ha Ha and we used to take over a large corner and spend most of the night scoffing thick cut chips and drinking gigantic glasses of wine. No wonder I put on weight that year.

I quite liked it as Curry and Lager though - the food wasn't too bad. My favourite place was the little Italian cafe on the opposite corner of Little & Great Titchfield St.

Kozo Lamp UK said...

Fantastic place, lovley ambience and beautiful food...