Sunday, 4 June 2017

A vegetarian dinner with a view at OXO Tower Restaurant

Oh, London. You beautiful, exciting, welcoming, fearless, fun, brilliant, nutty and wonderful city.

I have loved London ever since I first visited as a young girl, and I am so proud to call the capital my home. The longer I live here, the more I love it.

And I recently had one of those evenings where the sheer beauty of the city blew me away once more.
If you look closely at the above photo, you'll see where I was fortunate enough to spend an evening: the OXO Tower Restaurant on the South Bank.
See it?

Up on the eighth floor you'll find the restaurant, and if it's a warm enough evening, you should sit outside and admire the insanely beautiful view.
Meet my date for the night, the lovely Ciara.

It was a balmy early summer's evening and the setting couldn't have been more perfect. Being Friday night, it was definitely time for cocktails (lol as if I need the excuse of Friday).
Don't they look pretty!? Mine was the Due South - vodka, elderflower liqueur with lemon, raspberry ripple and champagne. Divine.
I know it's very remiss of me but I'm afraid I can't remember the name of Ciara's cocktail. I can remember, however, that it was super delicious. We both enjoyed each other's drinks as much as our own that we had to have the other one later on.

The reason I was there was to sample the restaurant's new vegetarian menu. Whilst not strictly veggie, I do eat vegetarian about 80% of the time. I'm not actively trying to, I'm just not that fussed about meat. I love veggie food! So I was excited.

After a spot of bread each - oh my days, the rosemary potato bread was BEYOND - we tucked into our starters.
I went for the smoked burrata with grilled apricots and fresh almonds. Sweet Lord, it was tasty. The burrata was smokey and creamy and the apricots were perfectly grilled. It was a delicious summery plate.
Ciara had the sweet potato pancake with Cornish Brie, courgette flower and kumquat marmalade. To be honest it wasn't really a pancake but rather a disc of sweet potato, but to quote Ciara, it was: "So delicious I forgot what the ingredients were. A plate of deliciousness."

So there you have it.
With a glass of light white wine and the view to admire, it was heaven.

For my main, I chose the cheese crumble.
According to the menu, it was: "Walnut, tofu and Spenwood cheese crumble, pickled red cabbage, radish and spring onion salad." Now those are all foods I like.

Most peculiarly, however, the crumble turned out to be seemingly 80% mushroom. And I don't like mushrooms. Why did they not mention mushroom on the menu? I don't know. It was disappointing.

Speaking of mushrooms, Ciara went for the mushroom lasagne.
It was a huge portion, and even as a big meat-eater, Ciara loved it. It wasn't too saucy and the mushrooms were nicely sautéed.

Fortunately for me, we'd ordered a couple of sides.
Tenderstem broccoli with flaked almonds and delicious skin-on chips. Perfection.

As we ate, the sun starting making its way to bed and the view just kept getting better and better.
And the staff came round with blankets too to save us from getting chilly. Top-notch service.

Even though we were quite full, both Ciara and I definitely wanted pudding.
Behold, the OXO chocolate plate. It was pretty dreamy: a milk chocolate tart, white chocolate semifreddo, orange chocolate mousse and sour cherry chocolate fondant. It was, quite simply, excellent.

I would know because even though it was meant to be Ciara's pudding I definitely ate at least half.

I also ate my own pudding:
Rhubarb, custard and gin sorbet. It wasn't quite what I was expecting - the custard element was like a panna cotta in texture - but sweet baby Jesus it was heavenly. The slightly sharp rhubarb with the sweet vanilla custard was perfection.

We watched London light up and sat talking till late.
It had been one of the best dining experiences I'd had in a while, despite mushroom-gate.

Ciara and I were guests at the OXO Tower Restaurant but all opinions are our own.

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