29 January 2016
The Sterling, Gherkin – smart suits, branded bags and briefcases, smart polished shoes and glow of the make-up on pretty faces, yup, that's the corporate scene at lunch. And this is what The Sterling at lunch looks like. I was only in my casual clothes – jeans and sweater - but nonetheless felt rather comfortable.
The Sterling, located inside The Gherkin, caters pub food style – fairly ordinary, safe and nothing too exotic. The interior decoration was very much that of a stylish pub. The presence of stairs are always eye-catching and provoking the curiosity of what could be up above, their mismatched furniture was chosen on purpose, the open space kitchen with a continuation to the bar was a clever strategy and a combination of the yellow lighting and the natural light pouring in through glass panes, The Sterling looks very startling. The circular dining space curving obediently with The Gherkin and, weather permitting, al fresco drinks sound nice.
tomato focaccia £5.00 – whilst any other restaurants serve bread and butter on the side, The Sterling has actually made it as a proper starter. We chose to order it because of the lack of starters available – the most interesting chicken liver parfait was not available. The fennel seed and chilli infusion had only the slightest hint of flavour but the butter was absolutely delicious; unfortunately only available to wholesale in the name of Lescure.
South coast crab & Glenarm organic smoked salmon £8.50 – this is the only dish that boasts the origin of the ingredients and that was why I ordered it. A good assembling of the crustacean encased in the smoked salmon, spruced up with plentiful of rocket had quite an elegant manner. The taste, ummm, plain.
pork belly, triple cooked chips with fried duck egg and peppered ketchup £14.00 – the neat plating of the dish makes it look smaller than it really is. The chips are delicious, real potato taste, and cooked to perfection. The meat is tasty, but the meaty parts quite tough and chewy. The ducks egg rounds off the whole thing well. All in all, not a bad dish at all.
warm chocolate brownie £5.00 – not too sweet, warming and with a vanilla pod ice-cream. What's not to like about this time-honoured dessert.
Service was good but with one waitress and a demanding work crowd lunch to take care, it was quite amazing how she juggled! I am not sure that the food was entirely the reason I went to The Sterling but definitely for the after experience that I could say that I have dined in The Gherkin! Even if it was only at the base.