Just as it takes practice and determination to get good at music, or medicine or anything else which might one day pay your rent, getting good at restaurants is hard. A visit to the Vincent Rooms, which are the practice courts of Westminster Kingsway’s catering college, will serve to remind just how much work goes into a meal. Your classy dinner will come with an array of endearing flaws because all the people making it happen are still in L plates.
The meat of our main courses scored highly; no flaws to be found in the light, juicy pheasant wrapped in crisp pancetta, or indeed a chunk of raspberry-pink lamb. Some underseasoned potato croquettes and floppy asparagus, on the other hand, needed a lot more work. The cheese plate, too, was top notch protein-wise but lacked in exciting sidenotes. Slices of soft walnut and raisin bread needed more fruit to be good stand-in for chutney, and a few limp strips of celery certainly didn’t win any house points. Clearly we can eat better for these prices, but the novelty of being a test subject makes Vincent Rooms worth a visit. Plus they turf you out at 9pm, so if the whole thing’s a fail you could probably just have a second dinner.
Westminster Kingsway College, 76 Vincent Square, SW1P 2PD