Hasn’t it been fantastic weather we’ve been having recently? A week ago Sunday, we took advantage of the sunny day and spent it in a very empty City of London, wandering past both good and bad examples of modern architecture interspersed with old churches. Bizarrely, we weren’t hungry until much later and by the time we thought about having lunch, we’d already found ourselves south of the river. There wasn’t much on the South Bank of interest (so many chain restaurants) but I’d heard good things about the restaurant in the Tate Modern and so off we went, up past the throngs of tourists.
It being a Sunday, it was still very busy when we got there but we lucked out and one of the most desired tables in the room, right by the floor to ceiling windows looking out over the Thames, freed up soon after we sat down. I asked to be moved and they couldn’t have been nicer about it.
Two thumbs up from the service throughout the meal too. Of particular note was our request for tap water and what came – a whole pitcher of it with ice and lemon slices. All restaurants should offer this!
Blai is a sucker for fish and chips when he sees it on a menu and so had to order the Deep-fried Cornish haddock with chips, tartare sauce and mushy peas (£13.25). The fish came encased in a beer batter crust, was extremely fresh, and came with a giant mound of thick cut chips that were enough for the both of us.
I too was in a fishy mood and opted for the Line caught pollack with aubergine caponata and aged balsamic vinegar (£14.50). Again, very fresh fish but it was on the small side as it didn’t come with any major sides. Luckily, Blai’s chips more than filled the gap.
Room for dessert? Of course – there always is! Our eyes were drawn to the Bitter chocolate financier, poached meringue with milk chocolate sauce (£5.50). I was nervous at first as most chocolate on chocolate desserts end up being just too much chocolate with our mouths crying out for something to refresh the palate. This, however, turned out to be one of the nicest desserts we’d had in recent memory. The chocolate sauce was of a thin, soupy consistency and the milk chocolate was scented with jasmine, which made for delightful drinking. This was absolutely gorgeous paired with the dark financier and the shreds of tart/bitter preserved orange peel.
While not as exciting as our chocolate dessert, the Bakewell tart (£3.50) was still excellent. Actually, it was one of the nicest specimens I’d ever had and it was served with a nice dollop of creme fraiche.
Of all the museum/gallery restaurants I’ve eaten at, I’d say this one moves to the top of the list. Does anyone else recommend other eateries at museums and/or galleries? – I like playing tourist in my own city! I don’t recommend the one at the National Gallery – we went there for tea on my birthday last year and we experienced some truly terrible service. Shame. But I’d highly recommend the Tate Modern. Sure it’s a little more expensive than the usual museum cafes but the food sure beats sandwiches and the view from up there is worth it.
Tate Modern Restaurant
Level 7 of the Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG