Rochelle Canteen at the ICA

The original Rochelle Canteen opened in 2004 in Shoreditch in the converted bike shed of the old Rochelle school, looking out to the beautiful bandstand and trees of Arnold Circus. It was co-founded by Margot Henderson wife of St John restaurant founder Fergus. I’ve always heard good things about it and meant to go, but never got round to it. So when I heard that they were opening a sister restaurant at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall overlooking St James Park I was excited. The wonderful Grace Dent gave it a fabulous write up in her ES magazine restaurant column. My friend JP and I were wanting to see ‘The Favourite’ film and it just so happened that it was playing at the cinema at the ICA, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and go for a pre-cinema dinner there. It was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night, maybe because it was January. The very lovely waitress told us that apparently a big reserved table of guests hadn’t turned up. So sad that some selfish people chose to not bothering to turn up. We started with a couple of cocktails and skipped starters to go straight to the mains. I had a pheasant, prune and chestnut pie. It was lovely, really warm and comforting, just what I needed on a cold, wet January evening. We also had a delicious bottle of red wine. In fact so good that we ordered another bottle to take into the cinema screening. We didn’t realise we weren’t allowed glass in the auditorium though, so we ended up drinking pints of red wine out of plastic glasses, very classy! Great meal though, would definitely go back, really friendly service and brilliant food. Film was excellent as well.