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Apr 22, 2013 04:30 AM

"National Dining Rooms" at The National Gallery.

Three of us had an excellent Sunday lunch there yesterday. It's a rather undistinguished modern room, but there are views over part of Trafalgar Square from some tables and it filled up a bit by 2 ish which gave a decent atmosphere. It is of course also attached to one of the world's greatest art collections, which gave us a couple of hours real pleasure before lunch.

Pretty much a traditional Sunday lunch menu, but really well executed, and the service was spot on with just the right amount of friendliness from the staff. Mains were good roast lamb, good lemon sole, and outstanding roast beef, which is why I'm posting.

The beef was roasted rump of Dexter beef, a breed of which I wasn't really aware. Well it was just a taste revelation. Rare, but a deep purple rather than pink, and a richness of flavour which has had me on the web this morning hunting down suppliers. None in London that I can find, sadly. I recommend Hounds to seek it out.

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  1. Dexter is one of the best breeds we have for beef. It's a small breed - maybe about 1 metre high - and, apparently very easy to raise, so popular with smallholders (like the ones who sell at my local farmers market). If I can buy Dexter or Galloway, I come away a very happy camper.

    1. I think this place might sell Dexter beef in London.

      Oliver Peyton runs the restaurants at the National Gallery and a few similar institutions. Maybe his portrait hangs in the restaurant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zuriga1

        Thanks for the link June. I had seen that site, but not seen that they had a location in London. I'll try to get to them.

      2. My wife and I had lunch/early dinner at the National Dining Rooms in May, 2013 and heartily second the above review. My roast lamb was exceptional and my wife enjoyed her chicken dish. Far, far beyond what you would expect of a restaurant housed in a museum.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lsernoff

          The restaurant is run by a well-known foodie person here.. a judge for a beloved series of cooking contests where winners cook a very special banquet. Oliver Peyton runs quite a few restaurants plus a food shop at a department store. I'd expect his standards to be quite high and I'm glad your meal was just that.

          1. re: zuriga1

            Same sentiments here, June - I went to the National Dining Rooms four years ago and was blown away by the cuisine. Peyton's good - I heard he's opened a restaurant at the Royal Academy, but haven't tried that yet.

            1. re: klyeoh

              I like art... we'll try that on another of your visits.:-)

        2. The East London Steak Company is currently cutting Dexter if you're still interested ...