As spring leaps into summer, I’m on the hunt for restaurants that give the option to dine al fresco. One such restaurant is The Brasserie at The Tower Hotel. Unfortunately showery weather denied my chance to eat on their outside terrace on the afternoon that I went, but a window seat inside proved just as good with eye-catching views of Tower Bridge and The Shard in the distance.
The clientele mostly consisted of elderly staying guests, with a few mid-twenties and business types adding to the mix. The décor is a tad corporate, lacking warmth and character but a charming service made up for it. I was there to try a tasting menu knocked up by Chef Sandeep Chauhan. It’s all very considered with courses named: The Game; The Ocean; The Farm; and The Treat, each including items that one might expect with such titles.
The first of the courses has definitely ‘got game’. Duck breast and wild boar prosciutto are well prepared and the cracked black pepper ice cream served with it works surprisingly well. There’s a venison mouse included, which doesn’t have much flavour and simply isn’t needed as the texture clashes with the ice cream.
We then take a dip into The Ocean, the lovely crisp skin of a beautifully cooked sea bass is a delight, so too is a nicely seared scallop. However, the course is let down by temperature issues and a cold lobster ravioli suffers as a result followed by vastly over seasoned beluga lentils. Sadly, the over seasoning is a theme in the third course when we’re back on dry land for the signature dish, The Farm.
The spinach is inedible, far too salty and there’s the same mishap with the pulled lamb shoulder. The course is saved though by a beautifully cooked, tasty piece of beef and an absolutely cracking three-grain risotto, which is creamy, earthy and delicious. The ravioli features again, but this time hot, and filled with confit duck that’s an absolute joy to eat. The course overall though is rich and over complicated and designed for those that want to try a bit of everything – but sometimes less is more.
Ending on a high with the aptly named ‘The Treat’, are a selection of desserts with contrasting textures and flavours that steal the show. I loved everything on this course from hazelnut parfait, fig crème brulee, chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream. If all the other courses were spot on like this then the experience would have raised the level from good to brilliant.
You might find a more consistent meal from other places in the area, but you’d be hard pushed to find a better view, and as we head into the summer months with the option to dine al fresco by the river, The Brasserie at The Tower Hotel offers a mostly palatable option. That three-grain risotto is a must try!
Starters are from £6.50-£10, mains £15-£22 and desserts £5.50-£7.
Food I Fancy dined as a guest.
The Brasserie at The Tower Hotel
St. Katharines Way
London, E1W 1LD
Tel:020 7206 7562