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The Oxo Tower Restaurant

Oxo Tower Wharf
Barge House Street
South Bank
London SE1
Tel: 020 7803 3888

There are not many restaurants where you can sit with a bird’s-eye view of the capital and marvel at it in all its glory; however The Oxo Tower is definitely one of them. On the eight floor of a striking modern building, the and vast interior is flooded with natural light. Tables are well-spaced, with highly polished tall stemmed glasses, gleaming cutlery and comfy modern blue leather bucket-style chairs, all adding to the overall impression which is one of an impressive setting. Floor to ceiling plate glass windows dominate the room offering wonderful vistas over The Thames and the City of London. Attentive staff are very much in evidence and were totally professional in their approach. If you are a smoker, you will be pleased to know there is a large terrace where you can nip in and out for a quick fix.

The three course set lunch is priced at a reasonable £33.00. There is a choice of six starters and seven main courses, (including a vegetarian option per course) and a choice of eight puddings. I began with a plate of deep-fried, melt in the mouth Cornish oysters, served with a crème fraiche sauce. The oysters tasted incredibly fresh, with something of a perfumed taste of the sea about them and was a wonderful combination. My guest’s smoked haddock vichyssoise came served simply in a glass, with essences of asparagus and spring onions and was pleasingly piquant in its intensity.

To follow, I had a plate of succulent calves liver served with black cabbage, bacon, capers and a port gravy. This sat on a bed of textured crushed new potatoes and was again memorable. My guest then tried one of the signature dishes of the restaurant, a roast fillet of beef. Served on a curved plate it was presented to the table like a work of art; with a cone of horseradish mousse and an oxtail bon bon (oxtail and truffle cream wrapped cleverly in a potato string ball). The beef, medium rare, was deemed wonderful and full of flavour.

To conclude, we could only manage to share a trio of sorbets, (elderflower, blackberry and apricot). Again the presentation was immaculate, served on a triangular plate with tuille biscuits , the sorbets having a combination of subtle and lush flavours.

The wine list is substantial and includes a helpful Sommelier’s selection. There is also a wonderful Champagne trolley which is wheeled to the table, offering a tempting and perfectly chilled variety of bubbles. Throughout our lunch we tried a selection of wines served by the glass including the House White, a crisp and flinty French Sauvignon Blanc at £5.00 through to a pleasingly mature and rich on the palate Chateaux Neuf-du-Pape 2004 at £15.50.

The Oxo Tower is celebrating its 12thBirthday this month and to commemorate the occasion is launching a special 12-course tasting menu. This will feature some of the most popular dishes with Chefs past and present contributing a dish for every year. Head Chef Jeremy Bloor will be overseeing proceedings and if your not feeling the credit crunch too badly it sounds like it will be a memorable event.

The tasting menu is available at lunchtime with 24 hours notice from Friday 12th September to October 31st at £120.00 per person.

Louise Elgin. September 2008.
House wines from £18 a bottle.

UK Restaurant Reviews – The Best Of The Dine Online Restaurant Reviews 2001 - 2010

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