What: Part of the ETM Group, Aviary can be found on the 10th floor of The Montcalm Royal London House hotel in Finsbury Square, offering bird’s eye views of London.
New? Aviary opened in December 2016 joining their sister restaurant Burdock who can be found on the ground floor of the hotel.
Where? 10th Floor, The Montcalm Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX www.aviarylondon.com
On the Menu: The menu is modern British with a big focus on the heritage of the meat. It’s all sourced from small farms in the UK so expect dishes like milk fed Cumbrian veal T-bone, lemon sole and double chop which have all been cooked in the 550°C cast iron Bertha coal oven.
First Impressions: After navigating our way to the top of the hotel, we arrived to find a giant bird cage decorated with various creatures from the avian world, a nod to the restaurant’s namesake.
The Look: Floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides give diners easy access to views of the city but the killer view can be found in the toilets (or at least the girl’s) where floor to ceilings windows give unobstructed views. A grand central bar with intricate brass detailing takes up most of the space inside the main restaurant with tables smattered around the edges where the best views are to be found. There are several sofas too, where people were lounging with coffees making it the perfect bridge between business lunch and post-work drinks. The Aviary décor has a mix of rich purples, gold, orange and green, while the hallway sports some brightly patterned artwork which contrasts the dark walls.
What We Ate: We started with a goat’s cheese salad, but they’ve updated the classic combination of beetroot, goat’s cheese and walnuts with the addition of blackberries and truffle, blending together sweetness and tartness with the creaminess of the cheese. For the main course, my guest had fish and chips that were so good they rivalled those you’d find in a classic chippy. The chips were so golden and crispy that I couldn’t help but steal them. Gnocchi arrives in tubes rather than the usual dumpling style and was decorated with squash, turnips, salsify and sprout leaves.
For dessert, the arctic roll had been given an After Eight make-over with a delicious mint ice cream centre. The sticky toffee had the extra addition of spiced apple and whilst the pudding was by no means dry I would have preferred an extra drizzle of toffee sauce.
What We Drank: The drinks here embrace a botanical theme, using natural ingredients presented in beautiful glassware, stylish copper tankards and extra special copper pineapple for sharing. Go for a something tropical, sweet and refreshing like Koko Mahalo made with Sipsmith gin, coconut, pineapple, basil, star anise and served with coconut clusters. For those who like to keep things classic, you can’t go wrong with the Old Fashioned.
Go With: Someone that isn’t scared of heights, besides that take anyone as Aviary isn’t one to miss.
Final Word: Come summer the rooftop terrace will be the place to flock to but even in colder months the views are impressive and it’s nice to get out of London occasionally, even if it is only a few floors off from ground level.