This restaurant used to be the HaHa Bar and many a boozy lunchtime was spent whenever we had something to celebrate at Handbag.com - it was that sort of place. Nice fat chips, home-made fish fingers, good selection of wines and beers - and they didn't mind catering for large groups of people who wanted lunchtime drinking to turn into early evening drinking and beyond...
Anyway that all went by the wayside quite a while ago now and after a short while as a strange curry house effort, The Riding House Cafe was born. I had popped in for a coffee with colleagues once before shortly after it opened and have to say we weren't all that impressed with the service although the decor was lovely. But someone persuaded me to give it another go as the food was highly recommended, so along with my best friend Julie, I decided to give it another try to see if the initial impression was just teething troubles. To my delight things were much better and the food was as delicious as I had been promised.
The menu is perfect for lunch and dinner with a selection of the usual starter, main and dessert but also providing a selection of house plates to share. We opted for these for lunch and chose the goats curd with figs and honey, and the piperade, anchovy and basil, both at a reasonable £3. We also had the baby squid, chorizo, smoked paprika, chilli and olives for £4 the plate and the cod fritter with red pepper aioli for £5. To accompany we had a wonderful chopped salad which was plentiful with avocado, palm heart, radish and dijon sauce - all fresh, crisp and delicious.
A bottle of Prosecco came in at under £30 which for this part of town was reasonable so the whole meal including service was £35 per head including coffees.
The decor is all white, wood and tiling with a large central bar and tables either in the windows of the bar area or in the more formal dining area. You can also pop in for a drink at the bar - the cocktail list is fairly extensive too. This is a bit of a find to be honest, far enough away from the bustle of Oxford Street to give you a breather, yet easy enough to pop into, The Riding House Cafe is now on my list of favourite haunts - maybe see you in there one day...
The Riding House Cafe
43-51 Great Titchfield StLondon W1W 7PQ020 7927 0840