11 Jun Niche
During a recent stint at Sadler’s Wells I passed by Niche everyday. Their enticing photos of sausages and mash had me drooling so when my mum came to watch the show I knew our pre-theatre dinner would be here. Niche prides itself on being London’s first Coeliac UK accredited 100% gluten free restaurant, and with their tag line ‘Gluten-free but you wouldn’t know it!’ it’s a promising start.
Niche offers three menus (daytime, pre-theatre and dinner) that are a variation on similar dishes. The food tends towards the classical and traditional side including burgers, beef bourguignon, baked salmon and wild mushroom gnocchi. As far as the anticipated sausages and mash is concerned, you can choose between three adorably named varieties. The Smokey has barbeque flavours as you’d expect, English lamb and herbs go into making Larry Lamb whilst fragrant lavender and lemon balm give the Sleeping Beauty a delicate floral aroma.
My Larry Lamb consisted of three sausages neatly balanced atop a mound of mash laced with olive and truffle oil. Two crispy onion rings leaned against them, and all were surrounded by a substantial moat of gravy. The sausages were extremely savoury, enhanced by mint, rosemary and, more noticeably, cumin. I feel like there is also some paprika in the mix, judging by the orange colour of the oil. The fat content is just right for a good quality sausage, not overly greasy but enough to give flavour. I’m sure this is no accident and that it’s due to their sausages being made exclusively by their butcher to Niche’s specific recipe. The mash is rich from the olive and truffle oil and smooth with added hits of roasted garlic and parsley. Not your average mash! I haven’t had decent gluten-free onion rings for ages, but these are fantastically crisp. I could have done with a little salad or some greens to lighten up the dish for summer. It’s great as is for winter comfort food.
Mum’s salmon niçoise was a monster salad. The amount of ingredients justifies the price being the same as the sausages despite being a salad. You get plenty of good quality smoked salmon, i.e. not too salty. The dressing is a classic mustard and olive oil concoction. To add a point of difference coriander leaves are mixed within the greenery which works well with the black olives and tomatoes, creating a refreshing summer dish.
My mum and I really enjoyed our meal. We were the first table in at 5.30pm and the restaurant started filling up half an hour later. If you’re checking it out online, have a look at their Allergen Matrix – a handy guide to allergens in each plate which is very clear and easy to use.
I had heard mixed reviews from a colleague about Niche – she wasn’t happy with her beef bourguignon and her friend’s meal arrived with half the ingredients missing from the plate! Perhaps that was an off day for them, or the beef isn’t one of their stronger dishes. However we had no such problems at all, our experience was quite the opposite. Niche seems to take particular pride in their sausages and mash selection so I would definitely recommend those (they also have a vegan sausage). It’s a perfect location for Sadler’s Wells so definitely give it a try!
Nearest Venue: Sadler’s Wells Theatre
Total Receipt (2 people): 30.94
1x Larry Lamb 13.75
1x Salmon Niçoise (large) 13.75
Rating: 8/10 Sausage party