During our visit to Time & Space Restaurant, Cafe & Bar at the Royal Institution, it occurred to us that Time & Space was a brilliantly understated name for this Mayfair establishment. Service was quick and the dining room was as beautiful as any we've chanced upon. Manager Stephane and head waiter Claris were consummate hosts; indeed, everything about our experience was worthy of accolades. But as we were there to sample the Chocolate Week tasting menu, let's stick with head chef's Julian Ward's decadent (but well balanced) four course chocolate feast for the remainder of this review (and suffice it to say we see no reason for our readers to stay away once Chocolate Week ends).
Our cocoa-centric menu commenced with a rule breaker of a treat - hot chocolate and walnut cappuccino - and was soon followed by an intriguing Cornish crab with chorizo and chocolate Chantilly (one of the most bizarre and beguiling dishes we've ever eaten). For the main course, a bit more convention was in order; breaded venison with celeriac, candied beetroot and cherry chocolate sauce was a hearty delight. Finishing things off was an almost too pretty to eat medley of chocolate proving that extravagance can still be excellent value (the four course chocolate tasting menu costs £29.95).
Time & Space is located at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street (W1S 4BS). Visit www.rigb.org for more info about this lovely restaurant.
Photograph of Chef Julian Ward by Chris Osburn