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Sea Containers Restaurant

Restaurants, Contemporary European South Bank
4 out of 5 stars
(29user reviews)
Sea Containers Restaurant
Venue says Enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner with views across the Thames as your backdrop.

Time Out says

Please note: Since this review was published, this venue has been renamed Sea Containers Restaurant. Time Out editors, 2019.

London’s docklands were bustling with ‘On the Waterfront’ activity right up until the 1960s. Containerisation – the adoption of uniformly sized cargo that could be lifted easily from vessel to vessel – made London’s docks obsolete, as the bigger ships moved to the deeper waters of Essex and beyond. As the working docks moved out of the city, the new offices and corporations moved in. In 1977 a major new hotel project was built on the South Bank, but failed to come to fruition. The near-complete concrete edifice, perched right on the river’s bank, was acquired by a shipping company and became Sea Containers House. After the bankruptcy of Sea Containers Ltd in 2006, the edifice was in the doldrums for a while before eventual conversion back into a hotel.

Sea Containers is now the name of the hotel’s flagship restaurant. The shipping theme is carried through the Mondrian London hotel’s lobby, bars and dining area. Model freighters from its former use are still on display in cases. There’s even the illusion of a vast copper hull along one wall, a trompe l’oeil created by designer Tom Dixon’s team which has given the hotel its makeover. A model yellow submarine is suspended over the restaurant’s bar. The hotel dining room could easily be soulless were it not for an open kitchen on one side, and views of riverside joggers and strollers on the other.

The menu name-checks slightly too many trends and diverse dish styles, yet manages to render them well. A South American-style ceviche of marinated raw scallops was perfectly fresh-tasting, the seafood prettily arranged in a ring and delicately zipped up with olive oil, coriander and pepper. Simple ingredients were imaginatively used, for example in a Middle Eastern-style purée of smoky aubergine served with a minty labneh, diced dates, and garnish of white and black sesame seeds. A ‘larger dish’ (i.e. main course) of Italian-style gnocchi was flavoured with shreds of rabbit meat and a savoury stock-flavoured brown butter sauce. If none of these tempt the palates of world-weary hotel guests, there are always burgers, chopped salad or roast chicken to fall back on. 

The dishes at Sea Containers make it well worth the stroll from either Tate Modern or the South Bank, especially as meals are served all day. Securing a table, however, may not always be easy. I was informed when I phoned the hotel that the all-day dining restaurant was ‘fully booked’ on the day of my intended visit. So to test my ‘Smells like BS’ theory I turned up anyway, at 5.30pm, with no reservation – and was seated immediately in a near-empty restaurant, which stayed that way for the next hour-and-a-half. Once first-month crowd-control measures are relaxed, this should become an excellent place for dining on the South Bank, where you can appreciate the fine view of what Angela Carter called ‘the single Amazon breast’ of St Paul’s Cathedral on such brazen display. 


Sea Containers Restaurant says
Designed by visionary Tom Dixon, Sea Containers Restaurant champions seasonal, ingredient-led cooking, in a modern and informal setting alongside the River Thames.

Influenced by the Mediterranean's rich variety, colour and freshness, our all-day menu is uncompromising on the ingredients you see on your plate. With seasonality and ingredient-led cooking at the heart of the concept, the new menu incorporates fresh ingredients, bright colours and simple techniques. There is an emphasis on sharing dishes and the menu features a selection of categories including: small plates, flatbreads, salads & grains and large plates.

Mid-weeks are a calm, relaxed, intimate affair. The weekend vibe is, well, what a weekend vibe should be - epitomised by our bottomless Bloody Mary or Prosecco brunch offering.

Popping up for the duration of the summer is the Sea Containers Restaurant terrace in collaboration with famed champagne house, Laurent-Perrier. Inspired by the artistic nature of the local area, the terrace will feature contrasting bold and bright colours making it the perfect location for daytime drinks, after work tipples or sundowners on the Southbank. Alongside a menu of champagne cocktails, a delectable summer terrace menu will be on offer.

Our private dining room provides an intimate setting for up to 22 guests. Featuring bespoke gold dining tables and leather seating. A range of Feast Menus are available to ensure your occasion is personalised and unforgettable.



Address: 20 Upper Ground
Transport: Tube/rail: Blackfriars, Waterloo or Southwark.
Menu: View Menu
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Users say (29)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:13
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening
2 of 2 found helpful

I was taken there for my 4th date last week. I must say, this is one impressive venue. The decor was authentic with a modern twist and really celebrated the nautical theme in a classy way. The part open kitchen gave it enough personal touch without being close. The island bar in the middle again was perfectly placed; it encourages diners to have a drink before dinner and continue on for more after dinner. The view of the Thames was just right to create a nice ambiance.

The selection of food was not extensive and it was a fusion of dishes however it covered the the different taste buds.  The waitress was well informed of the dishes and gave us some pointers on the dish selection.

We had a selection of starters to share; the octopus dish was divine. It felt so fresh like they had just caught it a few minutes ago and took it off the stove right on time. The humble lamb meatball was complimented superbly with lovely hummus. Lastly but not the least for starters we had the smoked aubergine with black sesame seed, hmmmmm was simply melting in my mouth. The texture of the toasted sesame seeds just took it to another level.

For the main, we decided to share roasted pork with apple and celeriac. Again, it didn't disappoint. The meat was so tender and juicy with just the right amount of fat. The apple and celeriac complemented the dish without overpowering the pork. 

We were so full and the place was crowding up we decided to take our drinks to the bar. The staff at the bar were very friendly although there were some new starters who were still getting up to speed with bar service. Maybe a bit more time and training is needed here.

Overall, I'd rate this place 9.5 out of 10, as it was hard to find fault with it.

1 of 1 found helpful

Loving the bottomless brunch here, great decor and atmosphere although there is a strict two hour policy to adhere to. The good thing is the servers do fill up your glasses promptly so the time allocated is more than enough.

Staff are nice and friendly, food wise I would definitely go for the roast sharing platter which is tasty and fairly large portion for two.

The rest of the brunch dishes didn’t blow me away however would definitely recommend this place for group gatherings.

1 of 1 found helpful

I’ve eaten twice at the Sea Containers – once for brunch and once for a Sunday roast. It’s a lovely, modern restaurant with a fantastic view of the river – if you get the right table!

For brunch I had the chicken and waffle, which was a bit disappointing as it really need more sauce or syrup to make it less dry.

The second time I visited there was live music – and this was a bit off-putting as it was too loud.

They should make the pricing of the roast dinner a little clearer as it’s actually a fabulous deal – it looks pricey, but is a set price for the whole meal (not per person) so is actually pretty reasonable.

A big selling point for me is that it is next door to Dandelyan – my all time fav cocktail bar (well worth visiting for a post-dinner tipple!)

1 of 1 found helpful

I’ve always been intrigued about this restaurant, but it’s a bit on the pricey side for a mid week dinner. So when the timeout deal was launched I dragged my girlfriends along to sample some of the dishes- we weren’t disappointed.

Between us we had cod, a burger and a mushroom dish (which I can’t remember the name of 🙈) but everyone was happy. We didn’t stay around for pudding, however all the choices looked yummy.

The staff were also super attentive and the restaurant interior was gorgeous (especially the toilets!)

Ok, it is on the pricey side (try ordering a drink less than £10), but it’s a beautiful restaurant right on the Thames so worth a visit.

1 of 1 found helpful

Sea Containers is a perfectly located and unique restaurant on the ground floor of the riverside Mondrian Hotel just by Blackfriars Bridge. Last night my boyfriend and I went along for dinner and I must say I was impressed with both the menu and service. 

For starters, I loved the decor; its slick and modern whilst also creating the illusion that you are dining in the belly of a submarine, with its curved metallic walls and porthole windows. They have a central island bar where you could sit for a drink and then a mixture of tables and booths for diners. Whilst you may get a feeling that this place is a little more upmarket than your average eatery (which it is), the servers were all down-to-earth, helpful and chatty and made for a very comfortable setting. The menu prides itself on offering a strong range of dishes from the field (vegetarian), sea (seafood/fish) and farm (meat), all created with ethically, and locally, sourced ingredients; we were encouraged to share a few dishes, 2-3 small plates followed by 1-2 mains for us both.

As pictured, we went for the raw scallops with ginger and sesame, the raw shaved mushrooms with pine nuts, truffle and manchego cheese, the double-cut heritage pork chop for 2, served with pork crackling and grilled apple sauce, and small sides of spinach and rosemary mash. All in all, I have absolutely nothing but praise for the flavours, textures and presentation; it was great value for money!

Given the price range (~£50pp for the aforementioned dishes and a drink each), it is not a restaurant I have the means to frequent but if you needed somewhere for a slightly more special meal, I would not hesitate to recommend it for friends, family or a hot date!

NB - after your meal, head up to the 12th floor Rumpus Room & Rooftop Bar for a drink with sweeping views of the city!

1 of 1 found helpful

I visited Sea Containers for breakfast before work,which was a slightly odd experience. Because of the hotel attached, it is like visiting a hotel for breakfast rather than a breakfast destination. 

Set up in the middle of the room was an impressive continental buffet with a huge selection of delicious treats including but not limited to fresh fruit, compotes, pastries and muffins, breads, cheeses, smoked fish, and cured meats.

If this isn't quite for you, there is also a simple but delicious á la carte menu. I can definitely Mondrian’s Benedict. Two well poached eggs sit on top of kale, hollandaise sauce, smoked salmon and crisp, toasted sourdough. A classic done well. 

It isn't a cheap breakfast venue, but the location wouldn't imply anything less! 

1 of 1 found helpful

Sea containers is a nice spot to meet for brunch with a great view over the Thames with St Pauls in the background. We managed to get the timeout deal of 3 courses for £25 plus a glass of prosecco and this was steal considering the location. Visited on Sunday afternoon, the restaurant was lively and decor was ambient and stylish cool. In fact the Mondrian hotel is a lovely place to go for drinks in general with their well known Dandelyan bar and Rumpus Room. The service was extremely friendly and so relaxed they will not rush you here so you could easily spend a few hours here catching up with friends. Things we ordered from the set menu: the burrata was quite nice, flatbread was a little disappointing, just like a mini pizza with lots of rocket basically. I really enjoyed my cod main very very good. The chocolate lava dessert was amazingly good and much better than the apple and rhubarb crumble that tasted alright. I would be keen to try out their brunch menu some other time.

1 of 1 found helpful

Timeout were recently running a great deal of 3 courses and prosecco for £25 so decided to finally pay this restaurant a visit.

Despite being a set menu, the food on offer was a great selection and we didn't feel that we were losing out on quality or service either as our waiters were informative, chatty and even gave us a free side! It was also not too busy so it was a calm atmosphere and a great way to spend my evening.

The ship theme continues from the hotel and into the restaurant with the giant copper hull at the entrance and the bar in the centre with a submarine hanging above but the kitchen is also open which I always find mesmerising to watch.

The views were amazing despite still being on the ground floor (ask for a table by the window!) and I'd definitely recommend visiting here for all sorts of occasions.

1 of 1 found helpful

Spent a lovely lunch enjoying a fixed price three course menu which was absolutely delicious. With a spectacular view from the South Bank of the rich London skyline, to indoors where decoration encapsulates a contemporary maritime theme, the restaurant is a delight to behold. The food was exceptional throughout - I enjoyed very fresh Burrata mozzarella with tomatoes to start followed by a tender and tasty piece of roast cod and finished with the most amazing melting chocolate cake known to man. Everything tasted fresh, well seasoned and portion sizes were good. The service was efficient but lacked a little warmth, however, I'd rather receive the right order at a good pace than compromise that with conversation.

The cocktail list is also worth a peek - though a bit pricey, they don't disappoint!

Absolutely recommend dining here if you are looking for a great all-round experience and something a bit special.

1 of 1 found helpful

A delightful restaurant within the beautiful Mondrian hotel. Perfectly decorated with all things relating to the sea yet still managing to maintain its classy feel. The views from its South Bank location are spectacular, providing amazing panoramic vistas across the city.

The food is absolutely delicious. My personal favourites were the scallops (absolutely divine) and the triple cooked chips - make sure you order them with anything! Everything tastes amazingly fresh and meticulously prepared. A lot of effort is put into the meals here, as can be seen from the open kitchen within the restaurant.

A great place for celebrating, it is classy but still relaxed in atmosphere. Make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment as it can get busy, especially on Friday nights.

1 of 1 found helpful

On our Friday night visit, my friend and I chose to start our meal with the £50 Seafood Platter consisting of creamy, perfectly shucked oysters with a mignonette dressing, delicately dressed crab, a fresh brill ceviche, succulent scallops in a tangy, fresh ginger and chilli marinade with crisp shallot rings and langoustines with a mary rose sauce. Every element was divine - fresh, with their own unique flavours and textures. It's expensive, but I can't think of many places you'd get a platter like this for much cheaper.

For our main course we continued the sharing theme and opted for the Double Cut Heritage Pork Chop for £42 - again expensive, but this can easily stretch to 3 people at which point this becomes very reasonable! It came with what looked like a giant prawn cracker but was in fact a very large piece of puffed crackling, as well as a pot of chunky grilled apple sauce. The pork was juicy and thinly sliced (which made sharing all the easier) and on the side we ordered a portion of triple cooked chips with a pot of creamy homemade mayonnaise (£5) and a Chorizo and Mozzarella flatbread (£13) - don’t be fooled, this is essentially a very thinly based yet large pizza, and it’s gorgeous. For pudding the choices were plenty, but on the recommendation of our waitress I had to choose the Banana & Passionfruit Cheesecake (£9) which arrived presented in a way that just screamed for it to be Instagrammed - a colourful, elegant plate of food which tasted like a Caribbean holiday - creamy and sweet, with a sharpness that makes your lips pucker and your mouth water.

I love the way this restaurant looks. Like a throwback to a golden era of boating, with glorious copper features and an open kitchen. The view over the Thames is pretty wonderful too. 

1 of 1 found helpful

I visited here over the weekend and had a very fun brunch.

They offered the most amazing bloody marys from this very lavish cart, and my girlfriend went for the bottomless prosecco option. 

I had the Egg Sammy (which was awesome - minus the coriander) and she went for the pancakes.

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Ask for a table by the window as the view is spectacular.

1 of 1 found helpful

Great looking restaurant with food to match. If you're looking to wow someone (Valentine's?!) then this is a damn good bet. 

1 of 1 found helpful

I like this restaurant a lot. The location is amazing and if you are sitting near a window in it is a prime people watching spot. The decoration is beautiful and the food is delicious. 

My partner uses this restaurant a lot for work dinners as it is very easy to get last minute reservations and it is very impressive. So far no complaints. They have a set menu that is reasonable in price, if you go a la carte things get a bit pricey. 

It is next to the famous dandelyon cocktail bar, so you do not need to wonder far for some of londons finest cocktails as a nightcap. 

All in all a very nice spot for dinner and lunch.

1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

Classic international cuisine delivered in a beautiful setting over-viewing the Thames River in The Mondrian Hotel. 

1 of 1 found helpful

This is a guns blazing, show-stopping dining venue, with a spectacular view of St Pauls and the City.  

The service is wonderful, particularly Jack, a charming Italian waiter who I am sure has modified his name due to fact that English people can't pronounce anything with more than two syllables.  I went here for breakfast and pigged out on the Blueberry pancakes with bacon.   The thing I like most about this place, apart from the view obvs, is the fact that they know how to make a flat white.

1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

Went here for lunch last week and came away very impressed. The decor was contemporary but also quirky. There was a good selection of locally brewed beers available. The food did not disappoint, especially the burrata and the lamb. Sides were perhaps a little on the expensive side but most dishes were constructed in a way that ordering sides wasn't really necessary. There were plenty of options I would have liked to try so will definitely go back. Service was ok, if a little haphazard, although that was just our waitress, not a reflection of the entire staff. I was disappointed that the other diners had their starter plates removed whilst I was still eating. This made me feel like I had to rush mine to catch up. Aside from that, food and setting was great so I highly recommend it.

1 of 1 found helpful

We stop by for a lazy late lunch, and this is an amazing restaurant, the food was great, as was the decour I really will have to comeback in the evening, its on my recommended list!


Loved the Sunday bottomless brunch here! Live music, great selection for the price and amazing views of the river.


I walk pass this architectural marvel along the River Thames on a regular basis. So when Time Out had a deal on a three-course set-menu with a cocktail, I wasted no time and made a booking with a bunch of friends for dinner on Saturday night. The food was beautifully cooked, however failed to inspire. The best course of the night was the dessert, however given all the fanfare around it, the restaurant does feel like just another hotel-restaurant. 

One other thing that irked me a little on the night was the cocktail at the Rumpus Room. Just because you have a booking at Sea Containers that includes a cocktail at the rooftop bar, does not give you immediate access. This is something that needs to be fixed, because after dining downstairs, when you get up to the entrance of the bar, the staff make you wait for entry because you don't have a booking at the bar. Surely if it is part of the deal, the diners should get preferential access to the bar.

I had a meeting here a few weeks, ago, tried the food (really good), the spot overlooking the Thames on the southbank makes it a place to return, especially when you hear about a certain top floor bar.... 

The interior design is just fantastic - thanks to Tom Dixon and the nautical heritage of the place.  I visited for breakfast and had waffles with dark chocolate and coconut cream, then explored the hotel in all its glory - more details and lots of photos of the amazing interior are on my blog:

- Nina

Have You Heard Of It? London bar & restaurant blogger |

0 of 1 found helpful

I recently ate ate the sea containers for the first time. I have to be honest I was not impressed, whilst the food wasn't awful it certainly wasn't great. We had a selection of dishes from sea bream to fried chicken. The ambiance feels very much like a hotel/bar or lobby. I personally would not return as there are so many amazing other restaurants in London.

0 of 1 found helpful

The bottomless brunch is definitely easy to take advantage of. Would recommend Sea Containers or this and would be back however the food is not worth the price tag regardless of the beautiful view and on point service.

The fizz is soooo easy to drink and the waiter was attentive. The chicken and waffles was quite good but not much else to shout about r.e. the food.

0 of 1 found helpful

Some work colleagues and I went here partly because one of them demanded a restaurant with a view, and partly because Time Out ran a great deal - £25 for 3 courses.

The location, view and ambience are beyond compare. It really is slick and glossy feeling and I felt really welcome when I arrived being greeted by all the friendly staff. In the main i really enjoyed the evening and thought the dishes on the set menu were interesting and varied and very well delivered.  I had a delicious and perfectly cooked hanger steak and a chocolate lava cake.

The only but, and it is a big BUT was that 2 of us had a mussel starter. The sauce was very tasty but we both realised part way through many, many of them were not open. We sent them back - the staff were very professional - no argument and various alternatives were offered. Sadly though i think they were dodgy as from about 3am I had an extremely uncomfortable stomach and couldn't sleep for several hours. So i would think twice about going back as the restaurant should have sufficient quality checks to ensure the mussels were safe to eat.  I have been meaning to take it up directly with the restaurant but haven't really had time yet.

0 of 1 found helpful

The design is great. I've been to the Dandelyan bar and Rumpus Room at the Mondrian hotel before, and so Sea Containers is the extension of the same great concept beautifully executed. We went for lunch so went easy on food. My truffled celeriac soup was a tad heavy on cream, but the tuna tartare was brilliant and the envy of my fellow diners. Who would've thought you could marry raw tuna, avocado, artichokes and lightly pickled cucumbers. Things did go awry at the end of the meal: it literally took us 15 min to get someone to pay attention to us and get the bill. So I'll definitely be back to Mondrian for THOSE river views, but will it be Sea containers? Not so sure, given the other excellent options available at the hotel. PS: when asked if I could charge my iPhone somewhere, they have brought a Sea Containers-branded battery pack. How cool is that!


0 of 2 found helpful

Awful experience. This is a real shame as the restaurant in itself is a Great venue, fantastic decor and views. The real let down was service and the staff. The service was slow and stroppy, 20 mins to get a drink once seated, and the only thing served was water. I understand new age but no sniff of any gesture of bred, nibbles or side plates. Meals are mainly sharing plates which means a long wait, 40 minutes for a main, after a starter. Service was unprofessional, ad hoc with some staff poor and others trying. I would not recommend despite the stunning location. Try the bar in the hotel, you may have more luck.