The RIBA Restaurant: a visual spectacle

What do you do in London on a Tuesday evening?  No museum late openings, no football games on and Tues is a difficult night to get out in time for plays.  Oh I know, enjoy a wonderful meal with your friends in a unique and beautiful setting of course!

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The setting doesn’t get better than RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects. As befitting of an architectural institution, it is housed in a stunning Art Deco building and the restaurant is in the grand Florence Hall, replete with tall columns and large windows that let in the last of the evening’s light.  And Tuesday nights are when RIBA’s restaurant, bar and exhibitions are open late, with special events on the last Tuesday of each month.

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We had a new Friend break bread with us on this particular evening, so we inducted him into our ways – ignoring his initial protests – and ordered basically the whole menu.  Which wasn’t difficult, as it was a relatively short and well-curated Modern British menu.  A handful each of nibble, starter, main and dessert options, all distinct enough to ensure you would find something to your taste. And a reasonably priced set menu at £19.50 for two courses and £23.50 for three, too.

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There was a fight at the table over this! Pork belly, pea mousse, carrot terrine + chili sticky rib

And the food?  The starters were the strongest of the lot (kid you not, there was a fight at the table for the pork belly with sticky rib starter!), with the meat in some of the mains overcooked, which was a shame. The presentation was beautiful, servings were on the generous side and the quality was generally high, so we left with happy and full tummies.

With only a few tables in a large hall that also features changing architectural exhibitions, it’s a perfect venue for a peaceful dinner with friends or a quiet date. Our party of 6 had a great night, enjoying good food in an interesting venue.  RIBA: easy on the eye, and fairly easy on the wallet too… 

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Good for:  Date nights, cultural evenings, dinner with friends
Details: The RIBA Restaurant, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD. Open Mon-Fri for lunch, and Tues evenings only for dinner. Book in advance.

And before we bring on the food porn (underneath the cut), I should probably mention there is also a great deal on selected wines whereby you buy two 250ml glasses and get the rest of the bottle free.

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Corn-fed chicken breast with spring veg chowder  – shame it was quite dry

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Wood pigeon

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Mushroom and tarragon tart – almost an architectural feat!

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Tableful of desserts!

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This entry was posted in Date Night, London, Modern European, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.

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