Tate Modern is a London must – both for visitors and natives. It’s just a ten minute walk from Borough Market (aka Foodie Heaven), a few minutes from Shakespeare’s Globe and it’s right by the Millennium Bridge (now rock solid after its early day wobbles). And you can see most of the galleries for free.
But if all that’s not enough, the gallery boasts a great restaurant. And unlike the Victoria & Albert’s one time slogan – “an Ace Caff with quite a nice museum attached” -, the Tate does not shout about its food facilities. You have to be in the know.
There’s a fine dining restaurant, a riverside cafe, and for those with connections, the Members’ Room.
OK The restaurant is very good, but not superstar off the foodie scale. You might not choose Tate Modern restaurant for a candlelit dinner – except for late nights on a Friday and Saturday, and weekend tea, it’s a lunch-time venue although the bar is open longer.
So why feature Tate Modern restaurant ? It’s possibly the best eaterie within easy walking distance. The nearby competition includes Pizza Express (if you want pizza) and Leon for food eaten on the hoof.
These have their food place. But besides the food, the big bonus of the Tate’s top floor restaurant is unrivalled view of one of London’s most stupendous panoramas.
You get the river with all its traffic. You get the Millennium Bridge – and then over the other side, one of the best views of St Paul’s Cathedral plus the ever increasing number of iconic skyscraper buildings. You could spend all day here – and some do, armed with their sketch pads. And on late nights, there is an altogether different panorama.
Now for the food. The lunch menu is £18.00 for a main, £24.50 for two courses and £29.50 for three. There’s a British emphasis – Slow cooked belly and confit cheek of Dingley Dell pork, cauliflower cheese purée, fried sage or Seared Norfolk scallops, baby fennel, caramelised orange, crispy bacon for starters for starters followed by fish and chips, or duck.
Wine is by the glass or half-bottle carafe – expect to pay from £11 to £16 for the carafe (three small glasses). But there is a big emphasis throughout the Tate on some of Britain’s more unusual beers with suggestions on the menu.
VERDICT: A brilliant gallery, a yummy restaurant and a view to die for.
Tate Modern Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Only open on Friday and Saturday evening – last orders 21.15