Having heard mixed reviews of Skylon I was intrigued by what would be in store when we escaped the winter chill of South Bank and headed into the restaurant last week.
For a Tuesday night both the restaurant and grill were bustling, drinkers surrounded the bar and almost all the tables were full. Being situated in the Royal Festival Hall, means that there is a steady stream of those in the pursuit of culture looking for a pre-theatre or exhibition meal and there is no doubt as well that Skylon’s views across the Thames are definitely in its favour.
Starting with crisp Champagne, we ordered the kedgeree risotto, a smoky rich dish served in a miniature saucepan. Accompanied by plain toast, the haddock needed no other flavours, simplicity is key and we hungrily devoured it.
The menu is made up of several fish dishes as well as lamb, beef and pork, but rather than go for a second round of fish, I ordered the pork belly (although this too was served with seafood: a lobster risotto). On reflection though a second round of fish might have been more preferable.
The pork belly was delicious, just the right amount of crackle to beautiful melting pork, but the lobster risotto let it down. Lobster and pork -it is an odd pairing, served in separate dishes it was if they had mish-mashed two dishes together and produced something which just didn’t quite work. The flavours clashed and were too rich together, and the risotto rice itself was almost al dente, there was a definite crunch to it.
But undeterred we continued on to pudding, having seen on the menu iced peanut butter and brownie I knew there was no competition and ordered it straight away. Expecting a slice of brownie with peanut butter ice cream, I was surprised to find a small rectangle of frozen layers of brownie, peanut ice cream and caramel – rather like a frozen snickers – being so cold made it tough to cut through and meant the brownie was dry, but the flavours were good and it definitely hit the satisfied our need for something sweet.
They say good service can bring up food which doesn’t quite make the mark and this was definitely the case, the service was impeccable, the ambiance, lovely and the wines chosen matched beautifully. Perhaps it was just the dishes we ordered, but the food just didn’t quite match our expectations.
Value for Money: 6/10