Beware of the lunch time rut. If you are eating at your work canteen because it is too cold to go outside or if the main variation to your lunch time food is in when Pret brings out its Christmas sandwich, you are in a rut. Fearing I was getting into a monotonous lunch time routine myself I ventured out to some place new for my allocated one hour break and discovered The Table cafe. Just behind the Tate Modern in London The Table is attached to an architects offices. Those architects must know their stuff as the cafe has clean simple lines, with long wooden communal tables and industrial looking polished concrete floors.
Portobello mushroom and cheddar tart
As soon as you walk in you can spy a large salad bar with all kinds of lovely salads inside for you to help yourself to from £1.45 for 100g. The salads are seasonal and change daily but on my visit there was a Lebanese cucumber salad, lentil salad and one featuring deep red, ripe tomatoes.
They take their food seriously at The Table and all the meat is organic, the eggs free-range and the packaging environmentally friendly. They don’t hit you over the head with their philosophy though, instead there is a helpful list of suppliers on The Table’s website. Even if you didn’t care about these things you would be sure to taste the difference once you got to the hot food which ranges from a simple pasta of the day (£7.50) to specials such as roasted oxtail on polenta or roasted free range chicken (£9). I couldn’t go past the tart of the day though which was mushroom and cheddar (£3.75). Crumbly soft pastry sagged at the seams as it held together fat, juicy portobello mushrooms and a lovely soft eggy, cheese filling.
Now that’s what I call a salad bar
There is also a great selection of desserts with tempting looking mounds of brownies and trays of cupcakes. I opted for the mini cheesecake (£2) which had a crumbly biscuit base and a silky smooth finish topped with fresh fruit.
The only real downside of The Table is the queues to get served are so long at lunchtime. However, I hear it is open for breakfast as well so perhaps I should head there to get out of my breakfast rut.
Details: The Table, 81 Southwark street, Southwark SE1 0HX (Ph 020 7401 2760) Tube: Southwark