This highly ambitious French restaurant from Anne-Sophie Pic - the world’s most decorated female Michelin-starred chef - has proved its worth by gaining a second Michelin star in the 2020 guide. Combine that with its location in the grand former London Port Authority building which overlooks Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, and this restaurant is a mighty proposition.
The high-ceilinged dining room is divided up by towering, mirror-clad pillars and handsome banquettes, and populated by hushed, affable staff serving City types and gastro-pilgrims. It could all be quite intimidating, but is softened by white surfaces and delicate paper art pieces. It goes without saying that prices are steep (all starters hover around £20) but, thanks to Pic’s pedigree and sheer inventiveness, the food is on the money. She is known for constantly revamping the ingredients, methods and techniques used in her cooking in order to provide her guests with a powerful and unexpected gastronomic experience.
Head chef Luca Piscazzi (Pic visits monthly) takes British produce and combines it with supreme ingredients and techniques from across the world to conjure arresting, inventive flavours. Mackerel is delicately seared teppanyaki-style then combined with matcha dashi and sherry vinegar, for example, resulting in a beautifully presented balance of intense fish and light, tart flavours. Highlights include Pic’s signature berlingots (pasta parcels of goats’ cheese and mascarpone) and her fantastically constructed millefeuille dessert, although during our meal everything delivered eye-widening flavours.
The staff will capably lead you to engaging wine pairings, which leaves our only criticisms being the hushed reverence of it all and slightly drafty dining room (unsurprising, given its dimensions). If gastronomic thrills are what you seek, however, we doubt you’ll notice these quibbles; and if the thought of a such an open space is a deal-breaker, there's an intimate private dining room for hire.