The Riding House Café in Fitzrovia is an extremely talented Jack of all trades. I have yet to find something that it doesn’t do well. With a fabulous interior – plush and burnt orange in some areas, industrial chic with turquoise accents in others – this multi-tasking venue is the perfect choice for breakfast with friends, a working lunch, an impressive dinner date, lazy weekend brunch or cocktails in the buzzing bar.
Doors open from 7:30am, making it the perfect pre-work pitstop for breakfast – expect to spend a long while deliberating over the menu, vacillating between the fluffy buttermilk pancakes and bircher muesli, as Holly and I did.
Or take my word for it and order the chorizo hash brown (£9.50) – a ginormous potato patty, topped with spinach, ghost-like poached eggs and hearty chunks of chorizo, this is a dish that will set you up for the day. Wash it down with a fresh juice or smoothie.
Date night dinner at The Riding House Café is also a must. Richard’s choice (the boy did good!), we were seated in the restaurant area, which was busy and buzzing. Our overly-eager waitress chased us for our drinks order, and a well made Old Fashioned and Campari soda soon appeared.
To start, we shared small plates (~£6 each) of smoked beef short rib with creamed corn, and curry spiced chicken with savoury granola and cornbread. The rib was particularly mind-blowing – so tender that the bone slid clean away, the flavours punchy and deliciously barbecued.
Deciding on a main course was a tough call, but Richard plumped for a spatchcock poussin, with bulgur wheat, pomegranate and yoghurt (£18.50). My veal escalope (£22) was served with a jug of delicious truffle cream and crispy parma ham – I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of the enormous portion.
I had no space for dessert – which is always sad when you spy cinnamon doughnuts, honeycomb cake and jelly & ice cream on the menu!
At the top end of my preferred price range perhaps, The Riding House Café delivers hearty and high quality dishes, at all times of day. Service sometimes leaves a little to be desired, but I’d happily put up with it for another of those beef short ribs!
Photos by Paul Winch-Furness.