It’s been open for a few months now and The Gallery in South Woodford is quickly starting to leave the reputations of previous restaurants at this venue in its wake, as it carves out a strong base of regular diners who are coming for the food and staying for the experience.
Our visit was the first time we had seen the new interior and loved the grand piano, quirky ‘ring for cocktails’ buttons at each table and the upstairs cocktail bar/DJ area. The venue has been greatly improved since the re-opening and we were excited to see if the food matched the impressive décor.
For starters we went for the salt and pepper squid, and the duck liver parfait, both of which were perfect. My squid was coated in a light, crispy batter and the chilli soy dip was delicious with every bite. The parfait was perfectly smooth and came with a lovely pumpkin and date chutney, plus two golden, toasted brioche slices.
We also chose a couple of cocktails from the extensive cocktail list and our mixologist did not disappoint. I went for the ‘Cherry Bakewell’ which was an incredible mix of amaretto, cherry brandy, cranberry juice, lime and egg white, and had 3 cherries soaked in cognac which were deliciously juicy. My partner went for the ‘Sailors Crush’, which was amaretto and pineapple rum, with chocolate liquor and pineapple juice, again this was superb, sweet but not sickly and incredibly moreish!
Up next were the mains, my eyes were immediately drawn to the vast 600g T-Bone steak. I also added some dauphinoise potatoes, green beans and shallots for good measure. Our waiter, Caine, had been superb throughout our meal and correctly recommended the dish… I was not disappointed!
The steak itself was juicy, full of flavour and cooked exactly to my liking (medium). The peppercorn sauce was freshly made and was a lovely classic accompaniment to the dish. The dauphinoise potatoes where rich and creamy, and went great with the steak, whilst the green beans were aldente and had some light shavings of parmesan on top to give some added flavour, it was a perfect dish.
Being a seafood lover my dining companion had decided on the Monkfish and Prawns, which was served with new potatoes, a flat mushroom, and tomato. The monkfish was firm and had a lovely, delicate, chargrilled flavour from the Josper grill, along with the juicy prawns which added another great element to the dish. This is a great choice if you are looking for something on the healthy side but still full of amazing flavour.
Finally, we somehow found enough space for dessert and went for the sticky toffee pudding, and pineapple tarte tatin, both were sweet and sticky, and a lovely way to round off a superb meal. The rum in the pineapple tarte tatin went down a treat and the whole dish tasted like a tropical cocktail you could imagine sipping on a far-away beach and the ice cream that accompanied the sticky toffee pudding was superb.
The presentation and service throughout our meal was perfect, it’s clear to see Craig and the team are running a very smooth operation and that’s a great thing for the local residents who can now boast to have such a great restaurant in their town. There’s a large private dining room for over 20 people, the upstairs bar is great for a night out with live music and cocktails, and the entire venue looks very glamorous throughout.
We would definitely recommend The Gallery for a range of occasions from a special night out to a mid-week lunch (their three course set menu is only £20) you will not be disappointed.
The Gallery Bar & Grill
159 High Road, South Woodford, E18 2PA
Tel: 020 8505 7676