Rochelle Canteen & Rochelle ICA in 2019 Good Food Guide

Rochelle Canteen and Rochelle ICA have both been featured in the Waitrose & Partners Good Food Guide for 2019.  

Rochelle ICA -

Margot Henderson & Melanie Arnold's reworking of their Shoreditch original occupies what designers might call a difficult space - a mezzanine restaurant tucked away in the Institute for Contemporary Arts overlooking the Mall.  Some find the look 'too cafeteria' and the service comes in for some stick, but the food and the reasonable prices are generally of more interest to diners.  The menu - brief, simple, season - delivers some real treats: quail 'deliciously charry from the grill' or a couple of tasty salt hake croquettes with sorrel mayonnaise. Main courses are straightforward and satisfying, whether a generous rabbit, bacon and wild garlic pie or beautifully cooked cod on monk's beard tangled with tomatoes.  Desserts are classics along the lines of a pillowy meringue with a huge dollop of very good cream and perfectly poached rhubarb. Drink cocktails or chooser from a brief but poorly laid-out list of French wines. 

Rochelle Canteen -

Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold set up Rochelle Canteen in 2006 to feed and water Shoreditch's creative community, following it up with a second site at the Institute fo Contemporary Arts (ICA) in late 2017 (see entry).  While the latter basks in the limelight, the original - an idiosyncratic set-up in a converted school bikeshed - continues to charm its many regulars.  Summer shows the hidden schoolyard garden at its best, when Mediterranean flavours and regional French wines (from a fiver a glass) beg to be enjoyed alfresco.  One feels the seasons keenly all year round, thanks to a daily menu that, at inspection, fizzed with vernal promise: wild garlic and bean soup; grilled Tropea onions with nutty forceful romesco; and saffron-laced crab tart, its egg filling still slightly aquiver.   There's some inconsistency, however; tough grilled lamb's leg with fennel and potato bake simply did not compare.  Pudding is a toss-up between seasonal ice cream classic tart.