When it comes to dining locations, it’s pretty hard to beat the Oxo Tower with its dining balcony, double height picture postcard windows and views along the river from the Houses of Parliament to Tower Bridge taking in St. Paul’s and The City.
Both the brasserie and the restaurant offer the same views and great food, the only real difference is that the latter is slightly more expensive, formal and spacious with a menu to match. You can’t go wrong with either but if you’re after a relaxing vibe with a bit of a buzz to it, then the brasserie is the way to go. The brasserie also plays host to the bar should you fancy a drink with a view rather than a whole meal.
If the weather is good enough ask for a table by on the balcony, otherwise request a table as close to the riverside window as possible. You wont be disappointed, especially at sunset.
The Oxo Tower Brasserie menu is classic modern European; designed to be light and flavour packed, even offering salads as a main or starter, and plenty of fish. Starters include the likes of grilled king prawns, Asian beef carpaccio, air cured lamb, and burrata, while mains see dishes such as scallops, sea bass, and pork belly or a choice from their grill which includes sea bream along side lamb rump and a couple of steak options.
Thankfully the food makes up for the sometimes-lackadaisical service from a few members of staff that have the air of thinking themselves ‘too cool to work here’ about them. On my last visit it took 40mins for us to finally order this had the knock on effect that it took ages to get water and we had finished the first bottle of wine by the time the main course arrived, meaning an unanticipated second bottle was needed leading to a heftier bill than imagined (we all know what wine can do to a bill and the food is not the cheapest to start with).
The stand out dish is by for the Veal T-bone from the grill, served simply with a flavoured butter and best accompanied by sides of chips and the rocket, fennel and Parmesan salad. The veal is wonderfully tender and flavourful, cooked pink, the char from the grill mingles beautifully with the soft flavourful fat, salt and lemon juice. If you’re lucky the bone may have a little marrow attached to it too.
The quality of the food and views make the Oxo Tower Brasserie a great venue, and while the main a la carte does add up, it has a three course pre/post theatre menu at £30 a head.
London Lamppost Score – 3/5 (slight mark down due to the service issue)
The Oxo Tower Brasserie
OXO Tower Wharf
Barge House Street