The Tate Modern is a great place to visit, but even the most avid art lover’s mind will soon
turn to food. The gallery
has a good restaurant on the top floor, with great views over to St Paul’s, but
if you want to venture outside I recommend the Union Street Cafe, just a 5-minute walk away, where I had lunch with friends last week.
The somewhat industrial exterior opens up into a largish room and a warm welcome. The staff were all friendly and helpful and we settled into a comfortable booth for four. We had been attracted by the fixed-price lunch offering 2 courses for £19 (3 for £25 if you are hungrier). The fixed menu had a good range of choices – 4 for each course – but the a la carte is also very tempting and mid-range in price.
From an Italian influenced menu, I chose for my starter the ‘Pomodori misti, green beans, focaccia and balsamic’ which was a fresh, crunchy salad and full of flavour from a light dressing. I was in a vegetable mood so went for more green in my main course of ‘Risotto, Italian fresh peas, rocket and lemon’ – ultra-creamy, with a good range of tastes and textures from the peas, lemon and rocket. My companions had the ‘pork chop ai ferri, tomato and onion salad’, which was not only a success but deemed ‘the best pork chop in a restaurant ever’! Two courses were enough food for me at lunchtime, although their good-looking homemade gelato did make me hesitate. Decent coffee to finish came with little chocolate treats – always a pleasure.
I didn’t tell my companions in advance that this was a Gordon Ramsay establishment, as people tend to have strong views about him, equally for and against. Armed with this additional information, however, the vote from my group was very positive. They really enjoyed lunch, didn't spend a fortune, and we decided it was definitely a place to revisit.
Sue runs It’s Your London, a tour company offering tailor-made tours for small groups who want a personalised experience of London. She also eats out a lot (!) and has offered to share her latest restaurant visits on a regular basis with Cool Places.