Places To Eat In London: Rail House Cafe, Victoria
In years previous, I never knew the answer to the question of where to eat in Victoria. There was literally nothing good near the station. However, over the past year so many incredible new (and some old favourite) places have popped up to compliment the takeaways and chains on Victoria Street. Many of these new eateries are focused in the Nova Food complex (where I had a delicious Ahi Poke bowl and Crosstown matcha doughnut for lunch the other week), so it was obvious Sherin and I needed to choose between their two new avocado heavy brunch spots for our Sunday brunch catch up last week: Timmy Green and Rail House Cafe. Rail House had the edge because they had matcha waffles, so we booked a table and went to check it out.
As expected from the people behind Riding House Cafe and Village East, the interiors were beautiful and the menu exciting. The brunch cocktail menu looked exciting, but a warning: if you wan’t a boozy brunch, don’t book a brunch table before midday on a Sunday as they have not got the right sort of licence to serve alcohol before then, so we had the disappointment of having to revert to the fresh juice section of the menu instead. However, our ‘Yellow’ juices (pineapple, mint and star anise) were stupidly delicious – much better than the fresh juices served at either of their sister restaurants – so that sort of made up for it. I sometimes go for a fresh juice with my brunch cocktail anyway, so I’d order one of these again regardless.
I had the shakshuka, loaded up with feta and avocado and served with toasted sourdough. It was absolutely delicious, the sauce full of sweet peppers was simple but perfect, and while non-traditional, the addition of poached instead of baked eggs yielded the most perfect runny yolks. Do order this – literally my only complaint is I could have done with more sourdough for dipping and scooping!
Sherin had the avocado/ sourdough toast with the optional extra of fried eggs. As ever, she never manages to finish a whole plate of something herself so I got a good amount of the avocado toast which was fantastic – the addition of dukkah, hazelnut and dill salsa made it punchy and different from any other avocado toast I’d had before (and that is saying something!) – literally the only issue with this one is you’d expect if you’d added the poached or fried eggs, smoked salmon or streaky bacon is that you’d hope it would come on the avocado toast (or at least the same plate) so you did not have to go to the bother of assembling it yourself.
The boys had the Benedicts. The ‘Burgerdict’ (top) was essentially an open topped burger (English muffin not bun), pickles, tomato, lettuce, patty, topped with a poached egg and a gently spiced hollandaise sauce made to mimic the taste of burger sauce. So fun and different, it was polished off rather quickly. Still different but slightly more refined (what I’d have ordered if the shakshuka had not been calling my name) the avocado and chard florentine: a traditional florentine with the meaty stuff switched out for seasoned and lightly mashed avocado, and wilted chard. Again, another I was told was delicious and vanished quickly.
We all shared two plates of what we had come for (and what seemed to be the most popular thing coming out the kitchen): the matcha waffles. They came served with cream and a berry compote (the perfect amount of balanced toppings) and in a generous portion. The waffles were just how you want them, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, sweet but not too much so. However, they were still a bit of a disappointment because the only green tea thing about them was the colour: I could not taste the matcha at all.
The Rail House Cafe is lovely and a great addition to Victoria. However, as it is more an office area than a weekend one perhaps save it for a meeting spot or if you’re meeting someone off the train: they have great outdoor seating areas too I hope they’ll put burners in for winter, and you’ll not be dissapointed if you end up in their failing to get a table somewhere else in the area.