State-Of-Art Dining At Gallery Mess
From the early days of my Chelsea-living in London, I was smitten by the charm and elegant chic of Kings Road and its hidden gems - from The Phene pub with its cute garden perfect for outdoors summer wine-ing to The Saatchi Gallery where I spent lots of Saturday mornings wandering among contemporary art masterpieces, often Russia-themed.
The latter, of course, is not quite a hidden gem. Opened in October 2008 in the 70,000 sq. ft. Duke of York HQ building on King's Road with an exhibition dedicated to new art from China, The Saatchi Gallery now welcomes over 1,5million visitors per annum. The museum never seems overcrowded though, and not many people realise that there is one beautiful place that can extend The Saatchi Gallery experience and take it to a new level by presenting some of its gourmet masterpieces to you - Gallery Mess restaurant.
With exposed brickwork, vaulted ceilings and display of art, the listed interior with massive windows allowing plenty of natural light provides the perfect location for a relaxed lunch on a weekend, dinner date or drinks with friends. Being very lucky with the weather, I spent a good part of my lazy Sunday with my friend and a lifestyle expert Sarah from Energy For Life exploring the restaurant's seasonal menu and extensive bar selection provided by award winning Rhubarb Food Design.
Feeling healthy, we ordered Detox fresh fruit cocktail to start (£4 each) (you can pick and choose what goes in it which is great, especially if you are very food cautious and, for example, getting ready for beach season in advance!). Mine had cucumber, spinach, celery, ginger and a touch of squeezed lemon - very refreshing and super-healthy! Having ordered scallops for the starter and lobster for the main, I could not imagine that my food (click here for the full menu) will land on my plate looking the way it was!..
My Marinated scallops with pea purée, pancetta crisp and fennel pollen (£12.50) were absolutely divine - both in terms of presentation and the taste. The scallops were cooked perfectly - with a tiny little bit of crust on top and smooth on the inside.
Sarah had Artichoke salad for starter which was made with Jerusalem artichoke, truffle dressing, celery and mimolette (£7.75). I couldn't help but taste a little bit of that and the dish was amazing. The Jerusalem artichoke was fresh and crunchy and, together with the truffle dressing, definitely added a gourmet twist to the salad. We even forgot about the artisan bread (£2.95) for a second which was absolutely delicious.
Very happy with our starter choices (no food envy in sight!), we couldn't expect the lunch to go any better but it did - when our mains arrived.
Sarah had Fillet steak 160g (£28.50) while I indulged by seafood lover in me ordering Whole lobster with lemon butter with a Caesar salad (£42.50), with Kale (£3.50) and Chips (£3.50) on the side.
Both dishes were cooked to perfection and served on wooden boards, and were perfectly-sized. I absolutely loved my lobster which wasn't too much work as the meat from the claws was already carved out and placed into the lobster shell so the only thing I needed to do was to enjoy my food. :)
We did have a little bit of space left for dessert and went light (remember, we were in a very healthy state of mind, must be because we had the most relaxing Yin Yoga class that morning!). I had Pineapple carpaccio with coconut sorbet (£6.50) and Sarah had Ice-cream (£4).
With its beautiful setting, charming atmosphere, excellent food and my admiration of Duke Of York Square location and surroundings, Gallery Mess has definitely taken a special place in my foodie list!
Opening hours: 10:00am-11:30pm, Monday to Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm, Sunday To book call: 0207 730 8135
Address: Duke of York HQ King’s Road, SW3 4SQ