Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Vincent Rooms, Pimlico - a review

Someone takes your coat, pulls out your chair for you, tops up your water and your wine, and asks you how your journey was. The food is of an impeccably high standard and you'd be forgiven of thinking that you were in one of London's fine dining establishments. One thing's for sure; there's something a bit different about The Vincent Rooms experience.

The Vincent Rooms is a restaurant attached to Westminster Kingsway College catering college. I first heard about The Vincent Rooms was from one of the students, who was doing work experience as part of their Diploma, in the kitchens at my office staff canteen. Everyone from the front of house staff to the chefs is a student at the college. The staff are likely to be a lot younger than you'd expect and are really efficient and very friendly. The bill is so cheap considering the quality of produce used, the techniques from the kitchen and the brilliant service, that it's hard to find fault. 

We visited the Brasserie, where steak costs just £12, though you can get a tasting menu in the Escoffier Room for just £25pp. I had goats cheese and butternut squash terrine to start, pork loin with pancetta crisps, cabbage and mustard mash for main, and the pear and almond tart with rum and raisin ice-cream for dessert. The presentation was faultless and you'd completely forget that your food was made by someone learning their trade, that is, until you nip to the loo and see the posters about college events and anti-bullying campaigns.

The dining room itself is a large, airy space, clad in wood, with huge picture windows looking out onto Vincent Square green. You might be thinking, 'whats the catch?', for example, surely they would charge more for the wine but it turns out there is no catch. The wine is affordable too, with a bottle of Merlot coming in at £14 a bottle. 

The only draw-back is the opening times. I would love if this place was open on the weekends but I'm not sure the students would be so happy to come in on a Saturday. It's got to be one of central London's best kept secrets.

Meal for four people, plus tip came to £110, so that's £27.50 a head 

Opening times are as follows:
Monday to Friday 12-2pm / Wednesday and Thursday evenings 6.30-9pm

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