Searcys at The Gherkin 1

Levels 39-40, 30 St Mary Axe , London, EC3A 8EP

  • Twilight in Restautrant lscp
  • Twilight Bar cmyk
  • The view from the Gherkin

SquareMeal Review of Searcys at The Gherkin

Restaurants in skyscrapers are no longer the novelty they once were, but the dining room on floor 39 of the Gherkin still has an air of exclusivity: You can only eat here if you’re a member, or know somebody who is. It also represents the chance to dine in one of London’s best-loved venues, with those iconic diamond-shaped glass panes giving a strong sense of place and The Apprentice vibes reaching fever pitch in the cocktail bar, positioned right within the tip of the building. Executive chef Barry Tonks oversees a seasonal, European menu which offers the likes of foie gras millefeuille with quince, stone bass with girolles and parsley cream, or pumpkin raviolini with roasted celeriac. The wine list concentrates on the New World and, unsurprisingly given that view, there’s plenty of fizz to choose from. If you can’t get in via convential routes, the restaurant also has a strong schedule of seasonal events and menus, which are often open to the public for limited periods of time.

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5.3

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.3

Atmosphere: 5.7

Value: 5.0

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Luncheon Vulture platinum reviewer 03 February 2016

We thought we had lucked out in managing to bag a table during Monica Galetti’s short spell at Searcy’s at the Gherkin. After all, a professional chef who has now made her name critiquing others’ attempts at fine dining, has got to be incredible herself, right? Hmmmmm…..afraid to say we ended up a bit fifty/fifty on the night. Three dishes absolutely stood out; the black curry scallops which just continued to delight and surprise as the subtle hint of lime gradually came through; the roasted loin of venison with braised shoulder dumpling (the website menu had this as “pierogi” but I guess the staff got bored being asked what that was!) The venison was cooked perfectly and the posh dumpling just gorgeous. Finally the pineapple tarte tatin, gorgeous to look at and just as delicious on the palate. Two dishes were fine but to be honest, nothing special; the beetroot cured salmon was great if you like beetroot but not so good if you like salmon as its taste was completely masked by the beetroot cure although the horseradish cream was a zingy accompaniment; the pork rib eye was very tasty and looked wonderful on the plate, but was just a bit on the tough side. The biggest disappointment however was the apple cinnamon snowball; served in a frosted tumbler, it had practically melted into a puddle of slush by the time it reached the table and whilst it tasted fine, I can imagine la Galetti being somewhat dismissive of it had it been presented to her on Masterchef. It occurred to us that as she had only designed the menu she may not have actually been in the kitchen but were assured that she was cooking that night, which I have to say, added to the overall underwhelming experience. Prior to this I had been somewhat excited at the rumour of her opening her own establishment later this year, but think now I will wait for the reviews and a bit of time to get her act together before I add to the ever growing, "must go" list. Of course, it was a wonderful venue and we were fortunate to have a table window-side so could enjoy the glorious view of our capital at night but just a shame the meal didn’t quite hit the heights that the building itself offers.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

the stranger silver reviewer 20 April 2012

I attended this restaurant for lunch with two friends, one of whom is a member. The only good thing about this place is the view which is absolutely outstanding. However, the venue itself is soul-less and the service, whilst efficient, is totally without anything to recommend itself. You cannot order a single course but must choose between two and three course or tasting menu optons. We all opted for the two course option at £42. Two of us ordered mussels to start and the other ordered lamb. When the starters arrived, we all burst out laughing.Three of the timiest mussels you will ever see were arranged i on a vast plate with a few other micro ingredients that I really can't remember. The waiter then proceded to douse the mussels in a frothy soupy slop. That was it. I wouldn't mind so much but it wasn't particularly tasty. My other companion's minuscule lamb came shredded and wrapped in cucumber. She had maybe two or three tiny bites and just left it. My cod main was overcooked, as was one of my companion's. My other companion had a lamb main which was so tiny he made a sandwich out of it with the bread roll. Oh, I nearly forgot, the main meal was accompanied by a particularly unappetising, runny bowl of polenta. Our main gripes were (a) portion size; (b) quality; and (c) taste. I'm no expert but I thought nouvelle cuisne had fallen from grace. Not here it hasn't. The portion sizes were laughable. We wouldn't have minded so much if the portion sizes were compensated by quality and/or taste. Unfortunately they were not. At no stage did any of the waiting staff or mait're d ask any of us if we were enjoying our meal. We got the impression that they were so used to getting generally underwhelming reactions to their food from diners, they would rather not ask! If I could give this place zero stars I wiould. The one saving grace is that you can't get in unless you go with or are a member, are a tenant or attending a private event. If you do not fall into any of these categories, you are in the happy position of never having to suffer my experience

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.0

Toby N. platinum reviewer 06 August 2010

If you can get in here, and trust me its not simple you either need to know someone or become a member at a huge cost, 40|30 offers quite simply the most stunning views of any venue in London. The service is good if a touch too fussy – see if you can get more than a third of the way through a glass of wine or water before its been topped up – and its certainly not cheap (we managed to spend around £260 for two – all be it with quite a lot of drinks!), but as somewhere to take a special date this is an amazing venue. The bar, right at the top of the Gherkin, provides 360 degree views of the whole of London, the restaurant is more limited due to the private rooms, but even so is quite stunning. Food is good, but not exceptional (desserts are a definite highlight though) and without the view would struggle to justify its high price. Worth going at least once – if nothing else to be able to bore friends with the pictures you'll want to take – and try and go over the period of sunset as the day to night transition is amazing.

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Searcys at The Gherkin is included in the following SquareMeal lists