I’ve eaten in two canteens recently – one at Lampton School in Hounslow and the other underneath Royal Festival Hall. Now as much as I’m sure you’d love to hear about my comforting jacket potato with cheese and beans at Lampton, I think I’ll focus on Canteen, the restaurant.
There are four Canteen branches in London – Spitalfields, Canary Wharf, Baker Street and the subject of this post, Royal Festival Hall. The chain is committed to providing “honest food that’s naturally sourced, skilfully prepared and reasonably priced”. How do I know? I read the Canteen cookbook.
I hadn’t intended to go to Canteen the other week. Instead, it happened out of necessity – necessity to get out of the icy rain, necessity to catch up with my friend and necessity to find somewhere that wouldn’t make me wait over an hour before feeding me (ahem, Wahaca Southbank).
The restaurant has everything you’d want on a truly disgusting day – stews, freshly baked pies, daily roasts and an all day breakfast. The only thing it doesn’t have is a warm, cosy interior, but hey, it is a canteen. The most inciting thing on the menu was the fish finger sandwich, so I ordered one of those as a starter.
My sandwich was a thing of beauty. Soft, white bread cuddled chunky pieces of golden breadcrumbed fish, coated with the perfect amount of homemade tartare sauce. I personally couldn’t fault it.
I went for a lighter main course – smoked haddock salad with leek, croutons and a poached egg. It felt healthy, yet deliciously filling. A perfect salad, if it wasn’t for one medium sized problem – the egg. I wanted it to explode with yellow gooeyness, but instead, the yolk was hard.
Pudding was skipped for no other reason than being full, so we ordered the bill, which came in at £15 a head for food, a glass of wine and tip. Not too shabby for Little Lady Eats.
I would, and probably will, return to Canteen as I’m keen to try more of their British delights. Apart from the egg, the rest was yummy, so I’ll give it a LLE Rating of 7/10.