Brummell recommends: Fenchurch

Soaring high above the streets of the city, Fenchurch restaurant offers the full sensory dining experience with views, good food and exquisite service.

Food and Drink 4 Oct 2019

The background

Standing 37 floors atop Sky Garden, Fenchurch opened to critical acclaim. Now the kitchen at the AA rosette restaurant has been taken over by new head chef George Farrugia (formerly head chef at Bob Bob Ricard) and brings a new twist to the menu based on his impeccable training in classical French cuisine with a Mediterranean influence, thanks to his Cypriot roots.

The space

Most people access the restaurant by taking the lift 36 floors up to Sky Garden and walking through the myriad flora up the stairs and along the restaurant’s ample terrace to access the entrance (although there is a lift that will take you directly to the restaurant for disabled access). Once inside, the impact of its elevated location is immediately obvious thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows along two edges of the restaurant, offering expansive views of the River Thames and the city rooftops below, with the palms and African lilies of Sky Garden providing a picturesque biophilic border in the foreground. The black parquet flooring and tables are offset by plush ochre and champagne-hued seating, spanning two dining rooms separated by glass panels so not to obstruct any diner’s view. Brummell visited on a late-summer evening and had the benefit of watching the sun set over the city as we ate, which made for a very pleasant Wednesday night meal indeed.

The menu

If research into the impact of sensory perception is anything to go by, the views from Fenchurch both inside and out of the restaurant should mean anything we order will be delicious. So with our expectations already high, Farrugia’s menus had a lot to live up to. And how grateful we were that our dishes more than delivered. After an aperitif courtesy of the restaurant’s generous cocktail menu (the Bloomsbury – gin, rhubarb liqueur, and apricot brandy foam – is a must), we opted for the crisp Burford Brown egg with watercress sauce and grelot onions and the Ayrshire beef tartare with young beetroot, beautifully paired with a refreshing sauvignon blanc. Both were mouthwatering precursors to our mains, where fish was the order or the day. Our North Sea cod with mussels, sea vegetables and white beans, and roast halibut, confit fennel and Nocellara olives were delicious evidence of the fine French technique and Cypriot influences from Farrugia. If we’d had more room we would have wanted one of everything from the dessert menu, but instead chose the delectably refreshing peach crumble to share.

The bill

A three-course meal from the à la carte menu is £165 for two, with an aperitif cocktail and a bottle of wine. Tasting dinner menus are from £85 per person, with an extra £65 per person including wine pairing.

 The verdict

If you’re looking for a restaurant for a special occasion, have a penchant for a good view or prefer the guarantee of an exquisite meal, then Fenchurch is the place. Topping off the experience are the staff: professional and personable in equal measure, they made our experience a real pleasure.