The Gallery, West Hampstead : You’ve found your meaty slice of heaven

11 Jul 2016

The Gallery is a fairly unassuming place from the outside, just two minutes on foot from West Hampstead station. But, as soon as you walk inside, you just know you’re in for a treat. The aroma, almost unconsciously leads your hands to pre-emptively undo a belt button. This place is instinctively and effortlessly cool, however there should be no mistake - there will be no leftovers, you will probably eat some of this with your fingers, and you will, for sure, enter food coma territory.  

The menu is designed for sharing, and very easily separated into ‘small’, ‘sharing’, ‘sides’ and ‘sweet’. The cocktail menu is similarly designed, offering you cocktails that fall under a ‘sweet’, ‘smokey’, and ‘something-else’ category.

The Bourbon BBQ Squid (£6), was the first dish to come out, and I can honestly say I’ve never had anything like it. Then came Marinated Skirt Steak and Blacksticks Blue (£6.50), a pile of sliced steak covered in blue cheese sauce – seriously, does this dish need me to explain to you how amazing it was? The steak was cooked to perfection and the only disappointment is that there wasn’t more of it (not that it was a small portion by any stretch).

Then we tucked into the sharing platters of Gallery Fried Chicken (£14), and the Bourbon and Honey Glazed Ribs (£14), two of the dishes on the ‘sharing’ portion of the menu. Because we wanted to try both of them, we asked if we could indulge in a smaller serving of each, because although are not by any means quitters, I have a distinct lack of self control when it comes to any food in front of me – food coma on the way home, I can handle. My body objecting to the sheer amount of food I’ve eaten and deciding to share with my fellow commuters, I cannot.

The chef, however, had different plans, and we were told that there was no way he would serve it any less than how it was intended – a touch I quite like, because it really does show the passion for food that you experience at The Gallery. The chicken – easily the best I’ve ever had, hands down, there is absolutely nothing more that needs to be said about it except that you should go there and order it. Now! Seriously, what are you waiting for?! The ribs were also in a league of their own, with a sticky and full flavour glaze, and plenty of meat on the bone to make the mess worth it.

Although we were tempted, we were unable to fit dessert in (after not being able to finish the food in front of us), so we opted for a sweeter cocktail to finish our meals. The Georgia Mint Julep was the perfect end to our meal – light and sweet, and even finished with a sugar coated gummy peach.

The Gallery is an incredible place. Somewhere you don’t take that ‘special’ someone you swiped right on until a couple of dates in, when you’re just about sure that they’re not a serial killer, for fear of ruining the place in your mind forever. If you’re a whisky lover, you’ll be blown away by their collection, and if you’re not, they assure me that they will be able to recommend something you love.

Ashleigh

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