The Oxo Tower is a London landmark, and its restaurants – a dining room and brasserie, and a bar too – emanate a sense of occasion. A glass frontage makes the most of river views, but the brasserie terrace on a summer night was the ideal vantage point (or should have been, but the ferocious air-conditioning seemed to permeate outside). Cooking has an adventurous global slant. Take beef carpaccio, here teamed with teriyaki onions, shimeji mushrooms and wasabi mayonnaise. Other dishes stick more consistently with their region of origin – as with our starter of lamb merguez sausages with couscous, houmous and dukka, which was fine but no more than the sum of fairly run-of-the-mill ingredients. Soft-shell crab was better, fried in fine golden breadcrumbs, with ‘kimchi slaw’ and a ‘Korean barbecue mayonnaise’ lending eastern bite. There’s global inspiration in the mains too. Scallops with fried coconut cake, tomato kasundi (an Indian relish) and coconut cucumber salad was our dish of the night: a generous portion of big, soft, meaty scallops set on polenta-like coconut cake, the cucumber salad a delicate accompaniment. Sea bass with oyster mushrooms and crayfish soba noodles was interesting too, but packed a milder punch. Service had a few mix-ups on our visit, but overall the vibe was good. Be prepared to pay for those glorious views, though.
The bar is effectively a separate entity; read about it here.