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The Green Room Review
December 31, 2014
The Green Room (part of the National Theatre group) occupies the seldom traversed road behind the busy Southbank, and it’s a welcome step back from the masses. When we visited, the garden at the front was playing host to a circle of miniature bonfires, so those wishing to brave the evening had something to warm themselves by. The entrance, just behind, is minimalistic, with bare wood and see-through panels – the entire place was designed by recent graduate Benjamin Marks, and it has an almost Scandinavian feel. We entered by the bar and swiftly ordered a wintry cocktail of berries and rosemary – the inclusion of herbs makes gives it an entirely new element, and softens the sweetness of the fruit.
We were ushered through to the seating area, where certain tables offer a good view of the kitchen and its entire goings on. The chefs prepare dishes created by Simon Flint, the National Theatres Executive Chef, whose resume includes stints at renowned culinary institutions including Groucho and The Ivy. The menu perfectly reflects his style: quietly creative, locally sourced and eclectic. We sampled burgers, both meaty and vegetarian, butter-soft barbeque ribs, cod croquettes and Welsh rarebit. All of the food is carefully considered, comforting, and a good harbinger for the menu that’ll await diners in future.
The Green Room’s name is a double entendre. Of course, it’s named after one of the elements of a theatre, but there’s more to it than that. The entire restaurant was developed in collaboration with the Coin Street Community Builders partly using recycled materials including stones rescued from the riverside walkway. The local community, and the reuse of materials, are driving forces behind the design of the building, making it much more than just a new London eatery.