Started the day off by doppily walking through The Gherkin security with my camera I had forgotten on my hip and setting the sensor off, but thankfully I got a pleasant security guard who just smiled!
We were met on the 39th floor by friendly head receptionist Justyna, who had been very efficient in organising our reservation, sending the information I had requested, and reserving us a window table. An eye-catching table centrepiece greets you as you walk into the restaurant. Sat down and admired a wonderful view over London, taking in key landmarks including The Shard, St Paul’s and the London Eye.
We were served warm Parisian baguette and Sourdough bread with butter while we perused the menu. The sommelier selected a white La Fornace Gavi 2010 for our meal. Amuse bouche of pork scratchings accompanied by an apple foam, and warm madeleines with chorizo and olive followed.
We began with Red mullet with borlotti beans and Pigeon with foie gras – a perfect start to the meal. This was followed by lovely Barbary duck served with creamy polenta, and heavenly Slow-cooked sea bass with Padron peppers served with a citrus and fragrant Tabbouleh (fish done excellently, still moist and with a crust). Could have eaten a second round of Padron peppers and Tabbouleh I loved them so much! Even though the cheese selection looked and smelt amazing, we had to make a hard call to move directly on to dessert. We rounded off proceedings with Strawberries and pain d’epices (French spiced bread like gingerbread), and Coconut & Lime panna cotta with pineapple carpaccio decorated with passion fruit and accompanied with a gorgeous Alphonso mango sorbet – to die for! (Would happily climb the 39 floors to just get this at the end.) Great presentation to all the dishes.
On Karim’s recommendation, we retired to the upstairs bar area, situated in the glass-domed top floor of the building, and took in the 360 degrees breath-taking views across the London skyline whilst we sipped on soothing cups of mocha and filter coffee to settle our full stomachs, accompanied by novel petit fours (complements of the very hospitable Karim).
We were looked after very well by Karim (Operations Manager) and Nicholi (our waiter) in the restaurant, and received pleasant service from the bar staff.
Wish we could afford the membership fees, as we would be regulars!
Finally, we cannot end this post without a big thank you to Mecca at Great British Chefs for providing us the opportunity to review this great venue.
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