London restaurant serves WWII rationing cuisine

I'm intrigued by this Time Out review of Kitchen Front, a restaurant at London's Imperial War museum that serves accurate re-creations of the (mostly horrible) food eaten in Britain during WWII's rationing period. Time Out gave it two star for food quality and full marks for accuracy (in the print edition, at least -- they haven't recreated this online). It sounds like a uniquely wonderful and horrible dining experience, especially as the food is prepared by a well-loved firm of caterers who've really gotten into the spirit of things.

Salt was the dominant flavour of 'Mrs Harwood's lentil and cheese pie'. It tasted floury and bland - my grandmother used to make the same dish. I couldn't fault it for authenticity. It came with a dollop of sludgy green pease pudding, just as it might have been in the war years.

The baked potato, though, was quite good, served with a fishy filling and a proper 1940s salad - English lettuce, rings of spring onion, no dressing.

Sweets include scones filled with 'mock cream' made from margarine beaten with caster sugar, tasting exactly as you'd imagine it to, ie nothing like cream at all... [B]e warned that for a more fortunate generation brought up on meat, sweets, fats and deftly used spices, the drabness of austerity cooking can come as a bit of a shock

I've subscribed to the print edition of Time Out for a few years now here in London -- it's the only print magazine I still subscribe to, in fact -- and I just love it to pieces. As aspirational reading about all the things I would do if I wasn't all the time running around like my ass was on fire, it can't be beat. And every now and again I get to actually follow some of its advice (I've been trying a lot of the coffee mentioned in its Best London Coffee feature last month -- yum!) and I'm never disappointed.

Kitchen Front