Small plates / South Bank restaurant with vews
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : British, Modern European
Address : 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London, SE1 9PD, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.seacontainersrestaurant.com
Opening Times : Mon-Fri: 7am-11am, 12pm-11pm; Sat-Sun: 7am-11.30am, 12am-5am
Closest Tube : Black Friars
The Mondrian occupies prime frontage along the Thames. It's a sprawling beauty of a building, designed by Tom Dixon and backed by the Morgan Hotel Group, recalling the halcyon days of luxury ocean liner travel. Continuing with the analogy, if you were to grab a table at the hotel's flagship restaurant Sea Containers, you'd be seated in the belly of the hull, looking out through a porthole onto lapping waves - an effect replicated by the proximity of the river.
The nautical motif is carried through in the interiors. An outsized yellow submarine is suspended above the eighteen-seater copper-clad bar in the centre of the dining room. Otherwise the room is very Tom Dixon, with light wood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, smart leather-backed chairs, truncated wraparound yellow banquettes and (of course) Dixon's signature lighting. There's an al fresco dining terrace outside for those who would like to enjoy the elements. In the back you'll find a darkwood private dining room with a private outdoor veranda.
The menu splices American and British cuisine into small plates with some Mediterranean influences shot through. We ordered amply from the Field, Sea and Land sections. We were duly impressed with the flatbread topped with courgette, mint yoghurt and watercress which was a charcoal-kissed yet fresh introduction to the meal. Crab on sourdough toast was similarly lively, spiked with avocado, jalapeno and coriander. The ceviche tacos shared common DNA, topped with coriander salsa which played well with citrus-cured seabass and sea bream.
Marinated fried chicken was a toothsome treat but we were perhaps more won over by the Welsh pork belly porchetta, served with anchovy, pineapple and coriander. Of all dishes sampled we were perhaps most won over by Surrey farmed beef for two. A giant dry-aged bone-in ribeye was grilled to perfection and complemented by the bovine's cheeks. The heritage tomato salad with marjoram and downy-centred, crisp-carapaced chips were the perfect complement. We wrapped up the evening with a delicious dish of caramelised bananas with caramel fudge ice cream, which provided a sweet punctuation mark to the meal.
Sea Containers has a little something for everyone. And don't forget to check out Rumpus Room and Dandelyan when for after-dinner refreshment.