Rochelle Canteen, Greater Arnold Circus, lunch

Menu from a bring-your-own-wine lunch at Rochelle Canteen in Greater Arnold Circus, East London:


Pickled mackerel, salsify, carrots and frisee salad

Roast chicken, aioli and chips

Rhubarb, meringue and cream

If wholesome food is what you’re after, the entire menu at Rochelle Canteen is it.

Fergus Henderson’s wife Margot’s take on food is one of rustic authenticity. The backbone is classical with a focus on the ingredients. And each day, the menu changes according to the ingredients, with just a few things on offer.

There’s that saying about people who don’t know food ordering chicken at restaurants but I’m really glad I ordered the roast chicken on this occasion. The incredible memory of it haunted┬áme for weeks afterwards.

The fat of the chicken has been rendered down, leaving just the crispy skin and moist flesh within. The chips, chunky and crispy, were the perfect vessels for the super garlicky aioli. That aioli, also flavouring the simply salted chicken, made quite a dish.

We brought our own wine. Quite a lot of it. And it matched remarkably well with some of the Champagnes on offer and then the chardonnays.

For dessert, a sort of deconstructed Eton mess, signed off the meal with its fine blend of sourness and sweetness.

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