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|Address:||Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate (38-39th floor), London EC2N 4AY|
|Tel:||020 3640 7330|
|Price: £66.00||Wine: £35.00||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Sun-Thurs 11.30am-12M (Fri-Sat -1am)|
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Standing at the bar, trying to get the attention of the barman (half of those behind the bar are merely there to wash the glasses, so look blankly at you when you try and get a cocktail from them) you feel as though you are in some far more exotic locale than then 38th floor of a modern, soulless block on the eastern fringes of the City.
The fake tree in the centre of the giant U shaped bar is orange and festooned with fairy lights; the skirts are short, the heels tall; fake tan as orange as the tree is splashed everywhere; half the crew is Essex girl chic, the other pissed City boys. It just needs a cabana and a naked prince fully to give the illusion that this is Vegas.
Once the superfast lift has whisked you to the 39th floor, you emerge into the upstairs dining room. Downstairs, via a vertigo inducing red, see-through spiral staircase, the Vegas-like bar offers superb views here over the Olympic Park and Canary Wharf, rather than Venice and Paris. There is an inside sushi counter and a cavernous main room, with further great views, across the (empty) terrace (it was summer, so raining), the Thames and south London. In fact, pretty much any way that you looked out, the views are superb.
Staff less so: it isn’t as if there aren’t a lot of them but, like those washing glasses in the bar, it is hard to tell who actually does what. When you first arrive, by way of a small side entrance to the Heron Tower, through being spewed out onto the 39th floor, there are lots of orange clad ladies to help you get through, but they lead you to bar or table and then disappear, leaving you to work out who to turn to for a glass of something or perchance something to eat. There is a lot of standing around chatting. And a lot of dropping things: along with the Estuary English, the most common sound is that of breaking glass.
Once we had found our waiter, he was very pleasant; chatting about the style of the food, which is Japan by way of Brazil, and the number of plates to start with. Japan-Brazil fusion may sound odd, but it is not as bonkers as you might think; Brazil is home to a sizeable Japanese population, and both cuisines have an affinity for raw fish. Thus, along with the sushi and tempura come the seviche, the taquitos and the tamales.
We had a good mixture of both, with yellowtail taquitos and octopus seviche along with rock shrimp tempura, wagyu gyoza and a lovely uni nigiri. All were nicely done, it is just that many are done better elsewhere: the tar-tar chips at Dinings knock spots off the taquitos, and Nobu Berkeley’s version of rock shrimp tempura is the benchmark for all in London to aspire. OK, so you don’t get the panoramic views in these places, but for the price, atmosphere and quality, they are both far, far better.
There is a long list of sake but, not being an aficionado, and with no offers of assistance from the myriad staff, I can’t tell you anything about it. The cocktail list is short, but the ones delivered were perfectly ok; at these prices, however, they need to be far better than ok.
I don’t think I’ll be back, although the restaurant will do just fine without me. It is perfectly suited to the City, a metaphor for the Square Mile: it is brash, it is soulless and it floats above the rest of London, not really caring what anybody else thinks, going about its business of making money by fleecing the great unwashed. Good luck to the place.