Restaurant review: Australia Menu at the Royal Academy, Piccadilly, W1

The Royal Academy's elegant dining room

The Royal Academy's elegant dining room - Credit: Archant

For many people, penning a review of an Anitpodean-themed menu launched to celebrate the Royal Academy’s Australia exhibition on the first day of the Ashes would encourage lots of lazy cricket metaphors, but luckily I’m not that kind of reporter.

Broadly speaking, this is a collection chronicling the history of art down under, from bold aborigine colours to Sidney Nolan’s vivid depiction of the boundary riding outlaw Ned Kelly.

And to honour the occasion, the Academy’s elegant in-house restaurant has cooked up a set tariff of Aussie fare designed to bowl you over.

It was my maiden visit to the eaterie, which is tucked away at the back of the building, and it’s a beautiful place to eat - more than a century old, with high arched ceiling and works of art dotted across the middle. But things got off to a bit of a sticky start when we first swanned in; one of the two starters on offer - the wild boar sausage roll - was unavailable.

No matter, the crab cake alternative came in to bat and was tasty enough, particular when complimented with a zesty fennel salad.

You may also want to watch:

Pausing for a quick drinks break we moved onto the mains, of which there were also two choices. The seared barramundi was a refined and tasty fish but the accompanying broth was a bit of a disappointment - initially pleasing, after a couple of mouthfuls the driving green tea flavour began to overpower everything else and it felt more like a morning drink than a lunch.

The kangaroo fillet, however, was a triumph. Rich, dark and tender meat under which a sweet bed of pumpkin, spinach and mint lurked with teasing intent - it really was a cut above. It defiantly edged it over the fish.

Most Read

We didn’t have the Lamington cake for dessert which would have been a test for our full bellies, but at just over £30 for two courses plus exhibition entrance, trot off to get a ticket - you’ll have a ball.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter