You’d forgive Searcys at the Gherkin for taking things for granted. With a view like this, you wouldn’t blame them for not focusing on the food. But thankfully they haven’t rested on their laurels, and have managed to produce a menu that is every bit as interesting as the setting. And with one of the best views in London, that is no mean feat.
The 39th floor of one of London’s most iconic building is indeed quite an eye-catching setting, but the experience here is aesthetically pleasing wherever you look, starting with the dishes. Our delicately plated starters were testament to this.
I started with foie gras. Joined by Sauternes jelly, vanilla, apple, mango and a mini brioche loaf, there was a real sweetness alongside the subtle meatiness of the foie gras – a lesson in blending sweet and savoury.
The second starter was equally photogenic – confirming that Searcys at the Gherkin has to be one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London. Simplicity is key with this dish, where the ingredients do the talking. Drizzled with egg yolk, fresh asparagus lay beside beef carpaccio, with a smattering of gherkins and capers. No jazzy flourishes needed.
My main course was a highlight of the evening for me – it doesn’t get much better than a hearty beef Wellington watching the sun go down over London. Particularly when the melt-in-the-mouth beef is complemented by creamy potato puree and a rich red wine jus.
Our lamb dish brought a splash of colour to proceedings. Beautifully pink lamb, circled by vine tomatoes and kumquat ensured that yet again, our eyes were drawn from the view down onto the plate. With the zing of the kumquat and the freshness of the tomatoes to complement the succulent meat, this was a far cry from your standard roast lamb with mint sauce. Not that I’ve got anything against a Sunday roast, but when one dines on the 39th floor, one does so with added panache.
Desserts arrived as darkness descended over the city. Such a setting demands a rich, lavish dessert, and we got 2. Chocolate torte saw an incredibly indulgent, creamy torte offset by a light almond milk sorbet, whilst the banana parfait with honeycomb and salted caramel was a triumph of contrasts – sweet parfait against the light saltiness of the ice cream, and a honeycomb crunch to join the smooth textures elsewhere.
The view from Searcys at the Gherkin needs no introduction. It is unquestionably amongst the best in London. It is the food that makes the restaurant really stand out – when dishes are so good they make you look away from the window, you know you’re onto a winner.
Searcys at the Gherkin
30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8EP