Fine dining at the top of the Walkie Talkie
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Seafood, Steak
Address : 20 Fenchurch Street, The City, London, EC3M 3BY, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.skygarden.london/fenchurch-seafood-bar-grill
Opening Times : 11am to 11pm
Closest Tube : Monument
Much ink has been spilled in broadsheet newspapers over the Walkie-Talkie building. One could even call it controversial. When it isn't getting a bad rap from certain sectors of the media for melting car mirrors by channelling powerful rays of sunlight (it's now fitted with a permanent sunshade by the way), one or two writers have been chastising it for its unorthodox design.
Well, haters gonna hate, but the Sky Garden, perched at the peak of the Walkie Talkie on its 35th, 36th and 37th floors, borrowed a page from Taylor Swift and shook it off - with an excellent array of offerings that will convert even the most sceptical. Ms Swift even won 'Woman of the Year' at the Elle Style Awards, which incidentally held its afterparty at the Sky Garden.
Confidence and swagger are apparent in Sky Garden's flagship restaurant, the Fenchurch. Perched atop the Darwin Brasserie and Sky Pod, it offers amazing west-facing views that take in some of London's most famous landmarks. The room has been given a distinctly modern design scheme. Dark herringbone and slate flooring run throughout, with a gold and black colour palette spread across leather seating and black tables. A bar runs its entire length, comprising of polished steel, mandarin-coloured pendant lighting and handsome back display. In the back you'll find a private dining room that really has to be one of London's best.
It was difficult to pry our eyes away from the vistas across the inside gardens to St Paul's long enough to decide what we wanted to eat. The sommelier recommended a robust, full-bodied Bogle Zinfandel from central California which did a fine job standing up to the more intensely flavoured dishes. One such was the quail breasts, served with confit leg, glazed parsnips and pickled berries which popped with a tart savour - they hit with a pop of smoke from the grill. Roast day boat scallops were a masterclass in succulence, served with moist glazed pork cheeks, butternut squash purée and pine nuts.
For the main courses, Fenchurch Seafood specialises in local British fare, much of which is flamed on the grill. A fillet steak on the bone had been dry aged for 35 days which came through in the deep nutty flavour, the fat around the bone rendered deliquescent from the heat. A loin of venison - served with celeriac purée, red cabbage and pear - was the perfect plate for a frigid February evening. A rhubarb soufflé served with ginger ice cream was an interesting, refreshing take on a dish that can often be stodgy, whilst a warm chocolate tart with honeycomb, caramelised banana and yoghurt sorbet was indulgence incarnate. Recently, Fenchurch has branched out with six-course tasting menus and vegetarian tasting menus devised by 29 year old head chef Zac Whittle (Conrad, Galvin).