Riding House Café
Riding House Café is a wonderful brunch restaurant. Located north of Oxford Circus on the corner of Riding House street and Great Thichfield Street it offers wonderful classic breakfast dishes before 12 and after 12 serves lunch specialties (at lunch you can chose smaller plates and share them or a bigger plate just for yourself).
I went to Riding House Café for brunch/ breakfast, and we had a table booked for 5 of us for 10.45, as there was no later table. This place is very popular and you can either book a table (half of the tables there they let you book), but you need to book a lot in advance as these tables get taken very quickly or you can just turn up and try to occupy one of the walk-in tables but chances are you will have to wait around 1h for them.
As we arrived so early we were presented with the breakfast menu (but we could have also chosen to order from the lunch menu had we wanted to), and you can see classics like smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, eggs Florentine and eggs Benedict and you can also see typical but not so widely available dishes like Kedgeree and Omlette Arnauld Benett (only served Monday to Friday). The interior is very welcome, and appears spacious, not too crowded but pleasant with comfortable chairs and décor in their signature aqua colour. I also like how they play on the “riding” theme and you can see a sign “to the toilets and stables” at one end of the restaurant and on the menu they have “riding (driving)” non-alcoholic cocktails.
I decided to order kedgeree as I have seen a lot of chefs make it, and have seen it in a lot of cookbooks but I have never really had it myself (my friend Pamela had the same thing), and my friends Katrina and Janis chose the “Eggs Hussard”, which consisted of poached eggs served with ox heart, tomato, ham, spinach, bordelaise & hollandaise, and I have never seen on any other menu. The kedgeree was good, the rice and the smoked fish were incorporated nicely in the dish and it was topped with a soft boiled and slightly runny yolk egg and topped with pea shoots. The portion was not very big and for £11.50 you could have expected a bit more, but it also was not outrageously expensive. Both Pamela and I finished our portions completely. The Eggs Hussard also went down very well, and both Katrina and Janis finished their portions, and it was quite interesting to see all the plates on our table so empty with literally nothing on them (but it could also be because the portions were not that big as I said).
For brunch or lunch I think this is one of the coolest places in London. It is not pretentious but funky and casual and offers good food with a big selection of dishes and smoothies (they even have a toblerone smoothie).
Price per person (what I paid), no alcohol and service charge: £20
I went to Riding House Café again with my friend Santa. I don’t change my view on the place, but just wanted to share pictures of what we had. I ordered a Reuben Sandwich which had salt beef, sauerkraut, Emmental, gherkin, Thousand Island dressing and it was served with some chips. Santa had the chorizo hash browns with mushrooms and poached egg. I thought the Reuben Sandwich was a good version of this dish, I really enjoyed it, and Santa also ate her chorizo hash browns, and said it was a decent brunch, not the best brunch she has had, but she liked the environment. Remains a good brunch restaurant.