Gallery Mess Café/Bar Sloane Square
Duke of York’s HQ, Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, SW3 4RY
I love The Saatchi Gallery. It’s a great space for showing contemporary art and the Duke of York’s HQ retail area surrounding it has been tastefully developed creating its own little ‘Sloane quartier.’ But where to eat after a hard day at the coal face of cutting edge visual culture or … shopping? Sloane Square is renowned for places not to eat and Colbert is always busy so what about Gallery Mess Café/Bar which is the Saatchi’s in-house pit-stop?
Run by the “rhubarb’ food consultancy and situated in an attractively bright and airy space dotted with artworks, Gallery Mess offers more than the cafe/bar tag suggests with a full Modern European menu on offer along with the cocktails and cakes.
We started with a Platter of British Smoked Fish (£14) made up of Smoked mackerel rillette, potted shrimps, smoked salmon, creme fraiche and quails eggs accompanied by decent sourdough bread. This was pretty good with the potted shrimps and mackerel having good flavour and some of the salmon being of the very trendy beetroot cured variety. My only caveat would be size of the portion which wasn’t quite enough as a starter for two greedy people but would be fine for a light snack for one.
My luncheon companion, the fragrant Fiona from London Unattached, chose for her main course what she described as a ‘beautifully composed’ special of cod, broad beans, soft boiled egg and aioli. It was a gentle combination given a bit of bite with the aioli, but the fish was overdone, as it was in my choice of Pan Fried Hake, peperonata, black olive and confit shallot dressing (£18.75) which was potentially delicious.
Both dishes looked as if they had been sitting on the pass too long which was a shame as their is clearly some in the kitchen who can cook. Sides of chips and spinach (£3.50 each) were perfect.
We were drinking a bottle of 2011 Dopff au Moulin Pinot Blanc which had an apple blossom nose and notes of ripe pears and almonds. I’m a fan of Alsatian Pinot Blanc and this was light but with enough minerality to stand up to the aioli and peperonata.
For dessert Fiona had the Homemade chocolate truffles (£2.75) which were perfect with her coffee and I had the
Chocolate and Orange pudding (£6.50) which was the standout dish of the meal.
Normally I prefer my chocolate to be bitter but with a light orange sponge this lighter ganache was lovely.
Gallery Mess is a lovely space for shoppers, art hounds, lunching ladies and the local yummy mummies. The menu is flexible enough to make it an all day option and with a little more care with the service it could become a local destination.
The Hedonist was a guest of Gallery Mess