With incredible views of London and sumptuous interiors including a plush private dining room, Fenchurch at Sky Garden is one of the hottest tables in town, writes Amelia Walker
London restaurant openings are a constant. The foodie scene in the capital is one of the biggest growing in the world and continues to deliver a wealth of extraordinary dining experiences. But with the thousands of spots on offer, selecting one is not always an easy decision to make. Well, let me help you with a suggestion that is suitable for a vast array of occasions. Whether you need to organise a team lunch, intimate dinner, business breakfast, networking party, late-night dining, a post-theatre supper, decadent midweek lunch, or entertaining friends from out of town, then Fenchurch at Sky Garden is a place to have up your sleeve.
What could be more enjoyable than spending time looking out over 360-degree unparalleled views across the capital with a cocktail in hand?
You’ll take the lift up to the 38th floor, the peak of the new Walkie Talkie tower, and step out onto an impressive viewing platform overlooking the glorious views of the city, set within a beautiful conservatory; a lofty pleasure garden if you will. In it sits two restaurants and a bar. Fenchurch focuses on seafood, as well as seasonal meat dishes, while the Darwin Brasserie offers lighter options of salads and pasta dishes. Sky Pod Bar serves snacks and cocktails.
It’s 8pm on a Tuesday evening and the main bar is heaving; the atmosphere buzzing. We climb the stairs to Fenchurch; the pathways are decorated with greenery and tropical trees. I decide I am in love within 20 minutes of perching my bottom, whilst making short work of a delightfully crunchy Rabbit Bolognese topped with breadcrumbs and a refreshing, classic summer cucumber soup, which was refreshing and palette cleansing. A delicious hulking meaty lump of 35-day aged rib eye on a bed of creamy potato fondant with crispy carrots follows and it is exquisite. Do please order the cod with cockle risotto and parsley – it’s light and delicate – and the hunk of fresh sea bass is very good. Although our table is unquestionably fully fledged meat eaters, the veggie option, it has to be said, sounds appealing; the inventive gnocchi with cauliflower, apple and pomegranate caught my attention. The final blow are the puddings of towering strawberry cheesecake and a bitter chocolate fondant with banana ice cream and honeycomb.
This place will make an impact as soon as you walk through the glass doors. Dimly lit, elegant and relaxed albeit in an efficient manner, the phenomenal views are matched by the contemporary British menu. There is no question that it conveys a vibe of exclusivity. The décor is sleek; think dove grey and electric mustard yellow with graceful glassware that is so alluring I make a note of the designer (I will be purchasing them at a later date).
There is a stand-out wine list too. The Sancerre Rosé, Daniel Chotard, Loire, France, 2015 was confidently recommended by David the Sommelier (previously Sommelier at Gordon Ramsay’s maze) to meet our choices of red and white meat in the middle; “dangerously drinkable” says my companion, “it just disappears”. It was quite frankly one of the most delightful vinos I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Marco, the Maître D’ is charming and knowledgeable and the service overall is friendly, attentive and superb. Our waitress knows her stuff and talks to us easily between courses in an easy-going manner. Top quality hosting.
For those more special occasions book the Viñoly Room, a sophisticated private dining room available for up to 16 guests. There’s also an oyster and caviar menu for those simply fancying a glass of fizz too.
It’s easy to lose track of time here. You should leave very happy.
Fenchurch at Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF; 020 7337 2344; skygarden.london/fenchurch-restaurant