The brand new Sackler gallery which is a converted, derelict 18th century gunpowder store has just opened in Kensington Palace Gardens. And not only is it one amazing space showcasing some fantastic art, but it has a shiny new restaurant designed by architect Zaha Hadid, named the Magazine (which doesn’t need explaining i hope). It looks like a spaceship has crash landed down the side of the gallery. When it comes to restaurants in london, The Magazine can rest assure it has a stunning restaurant, in a stunning setting which feels as though you’ve been transported 50 years into the future.
I definitely think that these semi permanent structures which can be dismantled and erected with ease will be the thing of the future – just think of the locations they can be set in. When we arrived at the Magazine there was a little confusion to the set menu which was offered on the website – it was not available on saturdays (even though the website said so). The staff of course honored the offer and were very pleasant and attentive throughout our meal.
The chef here at this beautiful restaurant is German born Oliver Lange, who previously worked for the eponymous Pret A Diner events. For lunch mon-fri (not Saturday) you can get yourself three courses for £25 – a bargain if you ask me. We started with some light and airy bread (which would have been nice if served warm) but the whipped butter with black salt was absolutely delicious and i could smell it on its journey to the table.
We started with the soup, something i’m always disappointed by but Mr Lange has certainly changed my attitude towards it. A butternut squash soup with honey and pumpkin seeds arrived, looking immaculate. The soup had a such a lovely flavour with a nice sweetness. The honey very light indeed and not overpowering, while the sees gave a little texture to it all. A sort of pea and mint powder was served on the side which congealed when wet and was a lovely little touch. A revelation of a dish for the humble soup.
The main of cod, cauliflower and ocean herbs looked, and smelt very inviting on the plate. The cod was cooked on the cusp of being raw – some serious talent to cook fish this well, though i wouldn’t have complained for a bit of charred crust to it. Some toasted nuts and seeds, crunchy cauliflower and delicious creamy sauce were on hand to bring this dish together. A very tasty dish, but dare i say it was lacking in a little seasoning.
The new dish on the menu was gyudon (beef over rice), with a smoked miso soup. A truly lovely dish – which felt like it was full of unhealthy (but good) calories. The meat was soft and tender, very juicy and had an incredible, intense flavour. Some golden coloured, glistening shiny noodles and fluffy rice also filled the bowl. All finished off with a helping of delicate ginger shavings, onion and a barely cooked egg which helped mold it all together. The miso soup was very smokey indeed, it smelt beautiful and so was the first mouthful but a little too intense for a whole cup to neck back.
Dessert was small, but perfectly formed – and it really hit the spot. The chocolate surprise which was essentially chocolate, but presented in three different ways. Soft, airy mousse was a decadent delight, the oh so trendy chocolate soil was crunchy and indulgent. The third way i wasn’t so sure in what form i was meant to be eating in in, but however unapparent that was it was all very good.
The wine list was short, but sweet and had something for everyone depending how far you wanted to splash the cash. The building itself was absolutely amazing and somehow managed to complement the meal in every way. I can’t recommend the Magazine enough – even if you only make it here for drinks, i urge you to try the food. You won’t be disappointed.