Oxo Tower Restaurant – re-visited

This weekend it’ll be 13 years since K and I first got together. We’ve got some big style celebrations lined up, which started this evening with a return visit to the Oxo Tower Restaurant – the place we celebrated our six month anniversary back in 2001 (old photos here).

Arriving early, we enjoyed a margarita and a sazarac in the restaurant bar (much less busy and more relaxing than the main bar), admiring the view of the River Thames and St. Pauls’ Cathedral at night.

In the restaurant bar – rechargeable ‘candle’ lights (we have these at home)

When booking, I’d requested a table with a good view as we were celebrating an anniversary (requested but not guaranteed). After cocktails, we were shown to our table for two which was as far away from the window as it could be.

For starters K had Dorset crab @ £17.00 and I had lobster tempura @ £19.50, accompanied by a dry white Austrian Gruner Weltliner wine @ £37.50 a bottle and a bottle of still water @ £4.75.

Starters: lobster tempura + crab

For main course, K ordered the fillet of beef done medium rare. Our waiter warned that under the restaurant’s blue lighting, the beef wouldn’t look rare. Rather, it would look green but assured K it wouldn’t be mouldy or anything – it’s just the lighting in here.

This makes me wonder why such a good restaurant has such odd blue lighting: is it to deter any customers who happen to be heroine addicts from finding a vein and shooting up (the lighting wasn’t too dissimilar to a supermarket’s public toilet)? Or are they uptight about having customers being able to take reasonable photos?

Mains: John Dory fish + beef fillet

I had John Dory with a gratinated razor clam, chestnut and garlic puree and sauteed ceps (or porcini – a type of mushroom), which was beautifully presented.

It’s no surprise that reviews on TripAdvisor rank the Oxo Tower restaurant, bar and brasserie #309 out of over 16,000 London restaurants. Service is formal and the food and drinks here are stunning, where “Executive Chef Jeremy Bloor fuses East with West to create innovative menus using only the best quality ingredients” (so says the Oxo Tower restaurant website).

Bill for two

Instead of a dessert, we had a couple of whiskies: a laphroig 18 year old @ £16.00 and an Ardbeg @ £15.00.

Nice restaurant for a special occasion (our total bill came to £241.00) but it’s a shame about the lighting. Our last visit here (before it became a Harvey Nichols’ restaurant) was somehow less bland.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: International
~ Address: Oxo Tower Restaurant (Harvey Nichols), Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, South Bank, London
~ Postcode: SE1 9PH
~ Tel: 020 7803 3888
~ Nearest station: Waterloo, Blackfriars
~ Website + menus: Oxo Tower restaurant website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Oxo Tower restaurant food
~ Facebook page: Oxo Tower on facebook
~ TripAdvisor reviews: Oxo Tower info on TripAdvisor
~ Location: Oxo Tower map

More nearby dining:
~ Zen China – great riverside views
~ Bangalore Express – hit and miss novelty Indian

Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie on Urbanspoon


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