Helix at The Gherkin
Time Out says
A 180-degree-view restaurant up one of London’s most recognisable skyscrapers.
Eating at The Gherkin (or 30 St Mary Axe, as it was officially christened) used to be only for members. Now, it’s open to us norms and run by Searcys, the company behind the St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar. Enter through an airport-style security check and take two lifts to the thirty-ninth floor. Although don’t expect much direction: we almost gatecrashed a retirement insurance event en route.
Let’s get one thing straight: the 180-degree view is epic. We went for dinner, after inky winter darkness had descended and London was a beautiful, blinking Gotham City below. You’ll feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie. But be warned, with nearby skyscrapers being built at lightning speed, the vista by dark can, at times, be obscured by glass and steel. Not a disaster, but if you visit in daylight hours, you’ll also get to take in the river and the ant-like bustlings of people on the street.
The food wasn’t quite so special. There were a few brilliant dishes, like the deep-pink fallow venison with chicory, candied walnuts and fig: a three-pronged attack of bittersweetness, tender flesh and crunch. But others were towering disappointments. Sea bass with slices of pickled octopus was bulldozed by a puddle of indistinguishable black gel while desserts were deconstructed to the point of resembling a toddler’s high-chair tray. A note to those in charge: elaborate trails of biscuit crumbs do not maketh a pud.
There may be more hospitable dining rooms – the canteen-style seating here seemed more fitting for a museum café – but go for the decent-value set lunch (£39 for two courses with a drink) and that vista should tickle your pickle.
HELIX Restaurant open to the public for the very first time, offering sky-high contemporary dining at both lunch and dinner with majestic views across the city. A proud celebration of British produce in one of London’s finest landmarks, the menus put seasonal and local produce centre stage. Perched high above the city, IRIS Bar offers epic 360° views to the public, from 11am to 11pm.
30 St Mary Axe
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £170.|
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Users say (15)
Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:5
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
This is more a review of the Private Member's club but i'm posting it anyway as member's can take guests in with them AND pre-book guests in even without them in attendance.
This is a really cosy, quiet space away from the hubbub of the main Searcys, A calm oasis underneath the dome with comfortable seating, delicious table food, and of course THAT VIEW. There are two private dining rooms for special events.
We have the Nachos (no scrimping on the toppings here!), a charcuterie plank, 2 different pates, and rillettes, chorizo in red wine, and chops wih shaved truffle. All of it was delicious.
I also mark a bar on how they do a simple G&T, not just their cocktails.. Searcy's scored the perfect 5/5 for its Tanquery10, Fever Tree and wedge of pink grapefruit.
I enjoyed this venue so much, i'd seriously consider joining
Went there specifically for the Sky Riviera experience but on entering thought to myself... it doesn't look like what it says on the tin other than the fact they had a postcard about it... Architecturally, this is pretty awesome and depending on where you get sat, you can get a pretty good view but the NatWest building was in the way of a what turned out to be a beautiful red sunset. Food wise... nothing to shout home about and relatively small portions... but does the job. We made the mistake of ordering a glass of champagne each - the cost of which is ridiculous but completely expected but we still baulked at it! I'd have to say the service was friendly if a little forgetful... for example, I was served my friend's lamb dish even though I told them I was vegetarian. We were then given dessert menus, even though we had already pre-ordered that at the start. All in all - I'd go once with my own wallet... the view and circular structure is most definitely worth it.
We went for Mid-Afternoon Mezze which was a twist on traditional afternoon tea. The building is amazing and the views are brilliant but I'm afraid that's when the compliments end....
We were seated and served our food pretty quickly, but it soon became obvious that the food must have been sitting out for a while. Lukewarm, dried out falafel, soggy sardine on bread and babaganoush which was just disgusting. The deserts weren't much better. Moroccan food should be vibrant and flavourful, this all just tasted of nothing much, with some dishes like the chickpea salad just tasting so sickly sweet. For four people the bill came to £180 (they add £20 service charge) which was absolutely ridiculous for the quality of food that was served. We complained to the manager who was very angry and not apologetic in the slightest, although he did eventually wipe the food cost off of the bill. If you want a special dining experience with a view go to the Shard!