UK Restaurant and Hotel Reviews

London Hotels
Family Restaurants
Press Contact

The Oxo Tower Menus

There are two restaurants at the OXO Tower, the Brasserie and the Restaurant. We visited the Brasserie in February 1997 and our review follows.

The Oxo Tower Brasserie

The opening last September of the OXO Tower restaurants and bar was one the highlights of 1996, which was a bumper year for new London restaurants. Building on the enormous success of The Fifth Floor Restaurant, the Knightsbridge department store Harvey Nichols discovered and converted this art deco warehouse space on the South Bank of the Thames near to Blackfriars Bridge to an ultra-modern yet elegant dining room. The views are spectacular: there's a panorama ranging from the City to the East - with one of the Capital's best views of St Pauls Cathedral - to the Strand and Charing Cross to the West. I can't wait for the summer to come so that I can eat al fresco on the terrace.

The Brasserie is a 135 seater dining space with an open plan kitchen. The brigade is under the direction of Cait Mitchelhill who was previously Head Chef at the Fifth Floor Cafe at Harvey Nichols. There she made her mark, creating diverse menus with a backbone of Mediterranean cooking. Cait was born and bred in Australia and her outlook on food reflects the many and varied influences found there. She was lucky enough to work for some of the most exciting and innovative Australian chefs such as Anders Ousback at Taylor Square and for Neil Perry at the acclaimed Rockpool Restuarant. The Brasserie Menu is relatively simple, but certainly not lacking sophistication. To start with we tried the Japanese Tuna salad consisting of very finely sliced raw tuna of the freshest and finest. It came in a nutty soy dressing that was delicate enough to bring out the flavour of the fish; it was a lovely way to begin a meal - I like to slide in slowly and almost imperceptibly. Tiger prawns and grilled squid with red peppers was a more robust dish, the squid was the best I've had for ages. The texture was perfect, not at all rubbery, and the flavour was ecstatic, the salsa verde dressing well judged, complementing and not overwhelming the fish. So often such dressings are there to disguise the lack of real piscine flavour.

For our main courses we had grilled hake, which had substance and floated elegantly in a vivid saffron butter sauce with clams and mussels to enliven it even further. The taste of saffron was so particlar and intense that it reminded me how disappointed I was to have been fooled when I bought a large packet of the alleged stamens when we went down the Nile last month!

I particularly enjoyed the leg of a large and tender rabbit which was stuffed with spicy aubergine and other bits and pieces in a gorgeously rich tomato sauce with cannellini beans. We didn't really need extra vegetables, but it would have been nice to have had just a very few. Perhaps they could do a tasting selection that you could pick at discreetly - I just hate leaving things.

The tables are fairly close together and we struck up a lively conversation with our neighbours who were out celebrating a birthday. They were a little disappointed not to have been seated at a window table, but were clearly not prepared to do a Michael Winner and make a fuss, even though it turned out that the wife was a well known TV director. But they soon got enthusiastic over their dinner, especially the roast rump of lamb which had a very rich sauce with braised vegetables. I also admired the Bury Black Pudding, piled up high on bubble and squeak and topped with a poached egg and mustard hollandaise like eggs benedict gone mad!

For dessert we had plum tart with caraway sauce and almond roulade with apricot in quite a spirity Amaretto. The atmosphere on a Sunday night was pretty bubbly, enhanced by live jazz from a piano sax duo who were playing in the cool blue light of the bar at the side of the Brasserie. We peeked in at The Restaurant on ourway out. The decor is similarly modern with ocean liner stylingand the view of St Paul's seemed even more stunning. The furniture is rather more comfortable and the white cloths and napery makethe ambience rather more subdued and relaxing.

The OXO Tower has shaken down now and looks set for a verysuccessful time ahead as we move towards spring and thewonderful and unique position works its magic. The service isfairly slick except for one or two youngsters who looked a bitlost. This was in marked contrast to the kitchen brigade who, although it was Cait's night off, looked as sharp as mustard.It's quite good from my point of view to go along when the bossisn't there. The place should not fall apart. I am happy toreport that the cooking was assured and the presentation wasexpert without being fussy. The wine list is neat and well chosen, but we were disappointed by the lack of both the St Hallett Gamekeepers Reserve and also the Chianti Montellori. There's a fairly steep hike in prices, from 11.95 to just under in twenty quid in only four moves. But we enjoyed a bottle of Bourgeuil, that very dry red from the Loire Valley, for 18.50.

The OXO Tower Restaurant and Brasserie
Barge House Street, South Bank
London SE1 9PH
Tel: 020 7803 3888
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

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

Your comments please!

Email us your suggestions, reviews, comments.

We very much want to hear your comments on restaurants you have visited, wines you have tried. Maybe you disagree with us, or perhaps you want to recommend a place we haven't yet covered. Email us at with all your suggestions, reviews, comments.

Back to Dine Online Home Page

Copyright © 2007 MidasCode Ltd

Views or opinions expressed by authors are not necessarily those of the publishers, Midascode Ltd.
While every care is taken in compiling this publication, the publishers cannot assume responsibility for any effects arising therefrom.

MidasCode Ltd
5 & 6 The Azure Suites, Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, W Sussex BN16 3DA
Tel: 01903 779538 International: +44 1903 779538 - Fax: 01903 856683 – Mobile: 07860 899235 – International +44 7860 899235

Want your Restaurant Reviewed? Send requests to

Registerd Office: Highland House, Mayflower Close, Chandlersford, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 4AR - Company No 05916096

Grape Seed Extract | Collecting Debt | Food Gadgets