ONE MOORGATE PLACE- MODERN CUISINE IN TRADITIONAL SURROUNDINGS
Once through the doors at the headquarters of Institute of Chartered Accountants you are immediately greeted by ye olde England with architecture dating back to 1890 and portraits of accounting’s most important figures. But tucked away within the basement of these hallowed grounds, lies the modern styled One Moorgate Place restaurant, which has recently introduced a brand new breakfast and lunch menu. We took a trip to One Moorgate Place (OMP) to find out whether the food matches up to the surroundings.
OMP is only open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday, so when we arrive at 1.15pm on a Tuesday, it is essentially peak time for the restaurant, but it is not overcrowded. Most in attendance seem to be conducting business lunches as would be expected for a restaurant in the heart of London’s financial district and the tables have been spaced generously to aid privacy. The menu caters this audience with a list that includes typically European brasserie dishes that can be turned around quickly and there is even a set menu option that promises to have 2 courses served within 30 minutes or the meal is free.
Fortunately, being a food writer, I have all the time in the world to sit and enjoy, so I take my time over my choices, safe in the knowledge that even if I am not back in the office until late afternoon, there is zero risk of the world’s economy going into meltdown. For starters, I go for the chicken and leek terrine, served lukewarm with a truffle dressing and was the ideal lunchtime starter; light and not too overpowering. My dining partner chooses the wood pigeon salad and char grilled shallot signature dish which was cooked perfectly and was full of flavour; a definite highlight according to my pigeon loving companion.
Our plates are quickly cleared and within moments our mains are upon us. I go for the English beef sirloin with a side of chunky chips, mushroom and tomato which comes well presented on a chopping board. Considering this is a lunchtime meal and the menu doesn’t make any great claims about where the beef comes from, what it was fed on etc, I wasn’t expecting greatness, but after taking the first bite, this was without doubt one of the best beef sirloins I’ve had in a very long time. Tender, flavoursome, yet light enough to prevent bloating and the home made chunky fries were another favourite. My partner opts for the saddle of rabbit wrapped in bacon, served with baby gem lettuce and shallots, which tastes just as good as it sounds, and like all the meat dishes so far, is cooked to perfection, negating the need for a knife. It’s always a good sign when your plate has nothing remaining, and both our plates are barren.
Pear and cinnamon crumble and the chocolate cake with passion fruit and pomegranate are a well rounded end to one of the best lunchtime meals I’ve had in the city. The service is nearly as impressive and it is clear that staff have been well trained in quick and efficient service. This works well for their typical clientele, however for a talkative person like me, I did miss the personal touch. The location of One Moorgate Place suggests the modern decor has been purposefully hidden from the judgemental eyes of the historical portraits and architecture upstairs, but after the meal we enjoyed, the Institute of Chartered Accountants has one more achievement to be proud of.
One Moorgate Place, EC2R 6EA. Nearest tube: Moorgate
2 courses from £16 pp. For bookings visit www.onemoorgateplace.com or phone 020 7920 8625