Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson’s Arnold Circus restaurant is one of the capital’s best kept secrets. The somewhat out-of-the-way venue has won many plaudits for its unfussy menu, and to dine there remains an exciting treat.
Opened in 2006, Rochelle Canteen sits in the converted bike shed of the old Rochelle School that looks out to the trees of Arnold Circus beyond, and is only accessible to diners via a buzzer. One might consider the restaurant’s apparently deliberate seclusion to be indicative of its own pretention, but this could not be further from the truth. With a mixture of interior and outdoor seating, whitewashed walls and muted décor, the restaurant is bright, airy and inclusive.
Rochelle serves a daily-changing selection of top quality, seasonal dishes that are free of any faff or elaboration, with breakfast, lunch and supper menus available. One day it can serve pork and prune terrine with plums, followed by lamb faggots with peas and mint. On another it might be nettle soup and quail eggs, with a chicken and leek pie to follow. Whatever is on the menu on the day you choose to visit, you won't be disappointed.