Rita’s Dining, we do believe, is one of the most heartfelt and very best of London’s sudden proliferation of sexed-up fast-food joints. The difference here is that the young co-conspirators (Jackson Boxer, Missy Flynn, Gabriel Pryce, Deano Jo) are experienced engineers of good times. Their finger-licking success – all those queues and crowds of Dalston cool kids, all that praise for their fried chicken roll – is the result of canny hard work.
Chef Gabriel Pryce, who attended film school in NYC for five years but has ‘always cooked at some level’ has decided to demonstrate the awesome Rita’s mac ‘n’ cheese for Editer readers. Partly because it is awesome, but partly because his fried chicken, patty melt sandwich, and ginger and soy hot wings are deceptively technical, labour-intensive, and require days to prepare in a restaurant kitchen. The mac ‘n cheese, on the other hand, is something any home cook can manage.
If you were brought up on English-style macaroni cheese, prepare for a whole lot of cheese: Gruyère and Red Leicester, and you can throw in some pecorino and/or provolone if you have some around. ‘It’s comfort food, but bold,’ says Gabriel. ‘It’s harmonious because the chilli counters the cheese and butter.’ We have to say, it’s hard to stop eating this. Get big noodles, and serve as a main, with a simple green salad. If you must demote it to a side dish, it goes best with something plain like a boiled ham.