Rochelle Canteen, serving up unpretentious food in a fairly laid back environment. Just off trendy Shoreditch High Street. Kind of ironic among all the various hipster crowds a stone’s throw away.
It has the quaint feeling of an almost backyard kitchen. You have to buzz in past a nondescript door in the wall, through a small garden and then over to the small restaurant. It definitely has come a long way. I can remember back in 2012 they were only open for lunch on weekdays. Almost sacrilegious! Not only would you have to take leave to get a good deal but more simply, just to have the pleasure of gracing their seats. When a friend and I finally made that sacrifice (we were younger then) in 2012, we remember being duly amazed at the food.
So, on a rather sunny and warm day, I decided it was time to visit an old haunt. Purely for a scientific reason of course, to check how standards were holding.
Slow cooked lamb, green beans and anchovy.
Served in a generous portion on a fairly nondescript plate, things were just as I remembered it. The cheek by jowl canteen seating adding to the charm. It seems that food like this tastes better when you are rubbing shoulders with your neighbours. Makes it easier to ask to pass the salt.
The lamb was cooked carefully, the meat moist and tender to the touch. Not overly seasoned, the taste of the lamb shone through. A delight on the palette. They were unassuming, honest and exactly what they said they would be on the tin. No time for needlessly complicated and pretentious descriptions on this menu.
See the simple verbiage on their daily changing menu. It promised simple and wholesome. Which it delivered.
Returning to the lamb dish, I would be remiss if I did not speak about the green beans. Carefully blanched and then cooked in some type of light creamy sauce, I enjoyed these more than usual for simple vegetables. Clean, unadulterated tastes not overpowered by unnecessarily complicated sauces.
Potatoes. Boiled, gently tossed in chives. Fairly ordinary and done in a straightforward manner. No surprises here.
Although we were not able to sample more than a sprinkling of the dishes, I think we got the gist of the food from our samples. Uncluttered and plain with diligent adherence to the core of the ingredients. No fancy, gratuitous sauces or methods here. Smooth, basic but good food is here. And that’s the truth.
A quiet eating 6.5/10.
Lunch (1.5 courses) was GBP23 excluding drinks and VAT.
London E2 7ES