Riding House Cafe

Why go here:

If you’re out shopping in Oxford Street and are looking for a good place for brunch, this is the place to be. Also, this is definitely not a café but a restaurant.

What it looks like:

The place has been designed carefully to accommodate all ranges of diners. There is seating at the bar, at long communal dining tables or in cosy couches in a more intimate dining room.  The décor ranges from vintage lampshades to showcases stacked with antique tea sets and books.

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The food:

Their dishes are anything but regular. They have offerings like Mac n Cheese fritters to Octopus carpaccio. I decided to go for three of the small plates – the smoked chicken ballotine, the Moorish lamb and the slow roasted pork belly.

So… I knew I ordered small plates but these were the smallest portions I have ever been served in a restaurant for this price. The bigger plates are definitely better value because even after finishing my three plates, I found myself not full.

Moving onto how the dishes actually tasted. The smoked chicken ballotine dish included slices of chunky chicken sausage made of chicken, beans and mushrooms and served with a Caesar salad. I didn’t find this dish to be that good, maybe it would have been better if the chicken was hot. The mushrooms and beans were far and few, so I couldn’t really taste them.

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The lamb was much more of a success. The barbecued pieces of succulent lamb partnered beautifully with the smoked aubergine base.

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The slow roasted pork belly was, however, the winning dish with the super succulent pork covered in a cumin flavored sauce.

For dessert, my friend I shared the flourless chocolate cake which was dense and indulgent and served with a generous dollop of crème fraiche.

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Verdict:

The place is in a good location, has great vibes and offers some very creative twists on popular crowd pleasers. Prices do seem a bit skewed, especially with the small plates. So you’re best advised to order both small and large plates and then to share.  You can come here any time of the day and give yourself a well-deserved break from all the shopping!

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