I absolutely love the City of London. Not Oxford Street or Soho. But the real City. The central, money-making, high-rise building, suit wearing part. It’s ever-changing, buildings are getting taller and surprisingly it’s turning from a drinking hive into a foodie one. The cocktails are still good, but the food is now even better. Not to mention that weekends in this part of London are still relatively quiet – making it the perfect place to roam the endless streets, riverbanks and alleyways.
If you do decide to take one of those weekend walks into the City of London, then you’ll most likely discover a fabulous restaurant along the way called, Northbank. A modern British restaurant with a little Cornish influence to it. The restaurant also offers magnificent views overlooking the Thames and by night it’s really magical.
Food wise the restaurant has just recently launched a brand new menu and I can tell you now it’s utterly fabulous and is looked after by new head chef, John Harrison. Not under John’s keen eye is the cocktail bar and even that is still utterly delicious. The cocktails it produces need absolutely no improvements. Our whisky sour and house negroni were both excellent.
Home-made bread was excellent too. Simple, but baked to perfection and with a real nutty flavour. No cardboard impersonation of a bread here. The same with the canapes. Home-made bellins topped with a fresh salmon mouse and sprig of dill on the top.
I’ll warn you now, choosing a dish here is hard work. The menu isn’t particularly big or daunting, but it’s concise and filled with too much of everything you’ll want to eat – hence the hard part of choosing. Dishes are big on flavour too. We settled first on the lime cured trout with salmon roe, cucumber and sea purslane. It was so fresh and so vibrant. The fresh fish they use here is actually delivered daily, sourced from day boats off the Cornish coast. Better still was my charred spring onions with ‘Lord of the Hundreds’ cheese and a black onion puree. Admittedly presentation needed a little improvement, but what a plate of food. Rich, exciting, lots of different textures and more even more flavour. I could eat this dish every day and never get bored with it.
Given a love for all things meaty, we had to sample the ribeye at Northbank. People (the other half) sometimes ask me why I bother going for the steak on a menu, especially a new menu – but I personally think it’s just as a good of a representation of the food as you get to see the restaurants sourcing abilities. Have they gone to the right farmer and can they cook it? The simple answer here is yes. The meat was excellent, cooked to perfection, beautifully marbled with fat in the centre and the accompanying chips and peppercorn sauce didn’t let us down. Neither did the side of oozing cheese, cauliflower, leek and smoked bacon gratin.
As good as everything we had just eaten was, the star of the show was these picture perfect lamb chops from the daily specials menu. Herb crusted, drizzled in a glossy jus and served with a fondant potato and crispy charred baby gem. A wonderful plate of food which I can still taste now just dreaming about it again. I think this plate of lamb may well be one of the best plates of food I’ve eaten so far in 2017.
We struggled to squeeze in desserts, with the bold flavours and generous portions – but we managed of course. A gargantuan sized rhubarb crumble soufflé with poached rhubarb and custard poured over the top was just as good as it looked, and more. But what I really fell in love with was this molten baked chocolate pudding with a dollop pf Cornish clotted cream. It arrived piping hot in a small cast iron pan, leaking with warm running chocolate, but still firm and very much a cake. It was the sort of dish you’d want to be sitting at home with on the sofa, in an endless supply.
I’d heard about Northbank over the years and passed it even more times, but never did I really consider it and for no apparent or valid reason. I’ll never be making that mistake again. I don’t know if it’s this restaurants new chef or if it’s always been this good, but currently it’s simply stunning. Full of flavour, big portions, well-priced and excellent service to match. There really isn’t anything to not like about Northbank – it’s indulgence heaven and I can’t wait to return.
NB: I was invited to review and my meal was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesig