Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well.
I recently dined at the OXO Tower Brasserie in London for my Mum’s birthday, and had a truly lovely experience. Reviews are something I really enjoy writing, so I thought… why not kick off my second blog post with a recent restaurant visit. Enjoy!
So, in the OXO tower there are two options of where to eat: the restaurant and the brasserie. My Mum chose to eat at the brasserie, as the menu was a lot less… well, let’s say, pretentious.
We started off at the bar where we had cocktails. I went for a Classic Mojito (my all time fave) and my Mum opted for a Cosmopolitan. Both were delicious and beautifully presented, and also tasted pretty strong… bonus! My mojito was so refreshing and tangy. Unfortunately, my Dad decided to be vanilla and went for a beer.
Our table wasn’t actually booked until 8 o clock, but by 7:30pm the various food smells wafting around were making us hungry… well, I can speak for myself when I say that by this point, my stomach was sounding a bit pissed off. The friendly staff managed to seat us 15 minutes early, which was fab of them. We were also given a fantastic window table, with an amazing view of lit-up London.
When it came to ordering our starters, I couldn’t resist a dish which immediately stood out to me. My Mum and I shared the Portobello Mushroom with Welsh Rarebit and Cauliflower Puree to share, and I am SO glad we did – it was definitely the highlight of my meal.
Cauliflower puree doesn’t exactly sound particularly mind-blowing, but it was actually delicious and reminded me more of a thick wintery soup! It tasted very wholesome and was also quite filling. Additionally, this dish featured toasted hazelnuts; I’m not the biggest fan of nuts, but these really did compliment the subtle taste of the cauliflower very well.
The Welsh rarebit was crisped up to perfection and added that extra kick to the dish, creating a more rich flavour. The addition of kale and dill worked fanastically with the other ingredients, too. Extra brownie points to whoever conjured up this dish in their head.
Unfortunately, my main was slightly less impressive. As a vegetarian, when eating out in restaurants there are usually little options (which I am totally used to) but this place could have upped their plant-based game.
Whenever there is a vegan option in a restaurant, I will always order it. However, there were only two vegetarian main courses on this menu, and not one vegan dish. I understand that the brasserie is not a vegan/vegetarian focused restaurant, but one option would be a good idea so as to not disappoint any vegan diners they may have visiting. A side salad or a bowl of chips for dinner isn’t particularly enticing!
The two vegetarian options were a Lemon and Ricotta Ravioli, or a Burrata Cheese with Caponata, Butternut Squash and Artichoke Emulsion. I opted for the latter, as it sounded unique and a bit more exciting than the former. On the menu, it stated that the burrata was not vegetarian, however my server reassured me that the burrata was indeed veggie friendly, and that they were in the process of printing new menus explaining this.
Presentation wise, this dish looks pretty damn good with an array of colours and different ingredients. Personally, I did not like the burrata at all and after one bite I left the rest. It had an odd, bland, and slightly sour taste. As the main event of the whole dish, this was pretty dull. The rest, however, was great – the butternut squash had a perfect roasted flavour, and the other ingredients all complimented each other really well.
I was very tempted to order a dessert, but was quite dismayed when I realised most of them weren’t actually suitable for vegetarians…
My server said this was because they use gelatine in their desserts, which was pretty disappointing! I’ve never really seen this with desserts in a restaurant before so was quite surprised. At least my waistline will be thankful…
The service was spot on, and everyone who served us was very polite, helpful and friendly, which is always the key to a great experience when dining out. A lovely touch to the night was when a server brought out a little ‘Happy Birthday’ plate for my Mum with a scoop of ice cream, complimentary of course. Honestly, they probably felt like it was obligatory after my Mum had dropped into conversation about 10 times that it was her birthday.
Whether you’re just going for a few drinks or a slap-up meal, I would definitely recommend the OXO Brasserie to couples, families or friends looking for somewhere unique to eat and drink in London. The atmosphere was great, and the views of the city really gave it a glamorous, luxury feel. If you visit this place, let me know your thoughts!
Love, Dayna x