This month a male blogger friend and I were invited to experience dinner at Aqua Shard, one of the restaurants sitting proudly on the 31st floor of London’s tallest building. Having eaten at and enjoyed Aqua Kyoto (Aqua’s Asian Fusion restaurant over on Argyle Street), I was looking forward to seeing if Aqua Shard’s traditionally British menu would be up to scratch. So was it date? Was it a blogging trip? To this day I’m not quite sure, but seeing as my male accompaniment was also a blogger, it was perfectly acceptable to bring along my Nikon and get some snaps of the food and the venue. Win Win situation!
Eating at the top of The Shard takes a dining experience to a whole new level. As we arrived, we were asked our names on the door to make sure we had a reservation. From the long queue of people we jumped, it immediately had a very exclusive feel. We were escorted to the lifts and were told where to find Aqua Shard. The lift whizzed straight up to the 31st floor so fast I left my stomach behind (or maybe it was first date nerves?). Within a few seconds we were towering above the city of London and walking into the uber-cool atmosphere of Aqua Shard
Our reservation was at 9.30, so we kicked off with a cocktail in the bar to soak in the surroundings. The cocktails don’t come cheap, but what to do you expect in a place like this? The mixologists were highly skilled and used loads of fresh and exotic ingredients in their cocktails, no messing about with syrups and sugars here.
After about 30 minutes in the bar our table was ready and we were escorted to the table by one of the lovely hostesses. I don’t know whether this was blogger treatment or pure luck, but we definitely had the best seat in the house. Right be the window looking out over London Bridge, it was possibly one of the most magical restaurant tables I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting down at. The sommelier was straight over to help us select our wine, which was a perfect New Zealand Chenin Blanc.
When it came to perusing the menu, to be brutally honest, none of the starters caught my eye. I’m not that wild about British Food as it is, and things like Foie Grois really don’t float my boat. So I went for the Butternut Squash Soup with Pickled Pumpkin and Caramelised Popcorn. Naturally, it was creamy, comforting and delicious and the popcorn gave the dish a sweet twist, but I was quite disappointed I had to go for this menu option, as I’m not usually a ‘Soup’ kinda gal.
Things started to look up when the main arrived. My choice was Grilled Seabass with Spinach, Almond Ravioli and Confit Plum Tomatoes. We ordered mixed greens and red cabbage on the side which complimented the dish beautifully. It was light, flavoursome and the fish was cooked to perfection. Best of all, it left me some room for dessert!
Now I know I said I’m not that wild about British food, but we bloody well know how to do a good dessert (Or ‘Pudding’ should I say?). Aqua Shard’s dessert menu offered playful and creative twists on British classics. I went for Egg Custard Tart with Scottish Shortbread, Coconut Jelly Mango Bubble and Nutmeg Ice Cream. Now THIS my friends, was a dream. The shortbread base and sweet fluffy custard went together perfectly whilst the mango ‘bubble’ gave it an exotic edge. My ‘date’ went for the Chocolate Bourbon Biscuit, which was equally as heavenly. Spoonfuls were shared!
My experience at Aqua Shard London was spectacular…which I think was a combination of the view, the food and the company. Whilst nothing on the menu really grabbed me at first, I was pleasantly surprised when the dishes arrived and they definitely improved with every course. Dining in The Shard is certainly an unforgettable experience and a great excuse to pull out your best dress and killer heels.
What did you think of my review of Aqua Shard London? Have you visited or are you thinking of going yourself? Drop me a comment in the box below and tell me your thoughts 🙂