Following the arrival of the Tate Modern and its sixth floor restaurant with stunning river views, London galleries had no choice other than to step up their culinary game. Enter Gallery Mess, the Saatchi Gallery’s restaurant, bar and café that effortlessly slots into the glamorous surrounding of the Duke of York Square, which is set off the equally glamorous Kings Road.
Inside the restaurant the main focus is art and the atmosphere is elegant without being pretentious or snobbish; you will find a relaxed and sophisticated ambience. Subtle artistic touches are added to the exposed brickwork walls for diners to admire, and even purchase. A neon installation of a cockerel immediately stands out, but is surprisingly fitting in contrast to the polished interior décor.
The restaurant pours in light from its ceiling to floor length windows, giving diners the opportunity to eat whilst overlooking the beautiful grounds of the square. In the summer months you can enjoy afternoon tea outside whilst soaking up the sun, but as the winter months draw in you can enjoy the airy space inside.
With an extensive wine and drinks menu guests won’t be stuck for choice for which tipple to choose from. The bar is a work of art in itself, the immaculate white structure that stretches alongside the entrance, showcasing row upon row of eye catching wine, champagne and spirit bottles.
The restaurant is run by the award winning events caterer company“Rhubarb” and boasts an extraordinary but short food menu. The restaurant caters for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea, for no more than around £10 a dish.
The menus change accordingly to suit the best seasonal produce on offer. A highlight of the evening menu is the warm Berkshire ham hock salad with heritage beetroot, sprinkled with a mustard dressing, which is a sumptuous appetiser. This is one restaurant where vegetarians are well catered for as the pumpkin; fig, chickpea and feta salad is just as delicious, and served as a generous portion.
For mains the braised feather blade steak with celeriac mash in a red wine jus is ideal to set the hunger pains at bay, as well as being beautifully presented. With knowledgeable and helpful staff at hand to recommend the best dishes and specials, you won’t be disappointed with your choice of meal.
To finish off the meal the Chocolate delice is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth or chocolate lover, but the traditional favourite of apple and blackberry crumble with honeycomb ice cream is sure to hit the spot and leave you feeling full to the brim.
This restaurant is anything but a mess, the service is attentive and friendly and the restaurant is setting the standard way above the other gallery cafés including the aforementioned. Next time you find yourself exploring the exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery be sure to pay a visit to the artistic Gallery Mess, you won’t be disappointed. Hannah Davidson
The Gallery Mess
Duke Of York Square, Chelsea, London SW3 4SQ 020 7730 8135