What? Found on the 37th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street, aka the Walkie Talkie building, Fenchurch is the Sky Garden’s fine dining restaurant.
New? No, the restaurant opened back in 2015 when the restaurant opened.
Where? 37th Floor, 1 Sky Garden Walk, Fenchurch Street, EC3M 8AF, www.skygarden.london
On the Menu: Described as British contemporary, the menu is overseen by executive head chef Jeremy Brown and includes the likes of smoked Lincolnshire eel with red cabbage, horseradish and taramasalata; Goodwood Estate lamb, aubergine, piperade and artichokes and Cornish halibut grapes, bone marrow and purple sprouting broccoli. For pudding, you’ll find the likes of steeped pineapple, coconut sorbet, ginger and lime.
First Impressions: Fenchurch will always benefit from being popular, it’s got that pull factor of being a sky high destination restaurant, but that doesn’t mean that they have become complacent. Service was polished and staff were personable and quick to make recommendations; you felt well looked after.
The Look: Fenchurch is understated and slick – it knows it can’t compete with the views. The colours are kept simple, muted mustard yellows and slate greys, low pendant lights above the bar keep the mood intimate at night; whilst in the day the glass walls mean that no light is needed. Just like the building itself, the interior is curved: curved banquettes, rounded chairs and smooth corners. Of course, as with all of these sky-high restaurants you’re there for the view. They aren’t restaurants for people watching, they’re restaurants for looking done on the sprawling city below. Seeing how tiny all the cars looking and appreciating just how vast London really is. It doesn’t provide as good a view as other restaurants in sky scrapers due to the metal frame – it’s rather like looking at it through a fork, but what it lacks in views it more than makes up for in the menu.
What We Ate: We began with a hearty rabbit bolognaise with Berkswell cheese and mustard sourdough crust – if, like my guest, you haven’t tried rabbit before, this is a good dish to start with as the chicken, slightly aniseed flavours work so well with the cheese and mustard. For those looking for seafood then you can’t go wrong with the meaty Galician octopus with fingerling potatoes, Bellota ham and quinoa.
The richness of venison (which came both as loin and sausage) was balanced with the sweetness of parsnip, pear and pickled cranberries. At £40 the most expensive main is the white truffle linguini, which comes with shallots and whey. Luckily it was delicious, the truffle whilst strong wasn’t overpowering, both decadent and comforting.
The apple tart was a little disappointing, it wasn’t so much a tart as a spiralized apple with a dribble of Calvados custard – it looked pretty, but a tart it was not. It may be fine dining so you’re not going to expect a door stopper wedge of tart but don’t call something it isn’t. Better was the zingy, vibrant lemon curd arrived with sweet passion fruit shortbread and a buttermilk ice cream.
What We Drank: Head Sommelier, Alexandru Pastrav has just revamped the wine menu at Fenchurch, adding a list of over 300 New World and Old World wines to its collection of fine wines. As well as the more famous vineyards the wine list now showcases smaller, boutique providers and natural, organic and biodynamic wines. We began with a glass of R’ De Ruinart Brut, NV before moving onto a bottle of dry Kraal Chenin Blanc, Swartland, 2015.
Go With: This is one to save for when you want to impress, with main courses around the £32 mark and puddings at £11 it’s not one to make your local (or if you can well done you). Take a date, take your parents or just treat yourself – you don’t always need a reason.
Final Word: If making decisions isn’t your forte, then go for the tasting menu. Created by Head Chef Zac Whittle the menu features an ever-changing selection of dishes each paired with a different wine. Current dishes include chopped mackerel with pickled cockles, sea herbs and oyster cream paired with Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett, Paulinshof, Mosel and a Highland game ragout served with a Chinon Tradition, Pierre Sourdais, Loire.