Like most of us in the days of our childhood, I was constantly being told off by my mother for playing with my food. Dinner wasn’t supposed to be fun and any meal time which didn’t end up in a food fight between me and my sister was deemed to be a successful one. However, a recent visit to Le Pont de la Tour highlighted how much fun food can be.
Le Pont de la Tour is located on Shad Thames and provides superb views of the river and Tower Bridge. It’s something of a super-restaurant, combining a bar & grill, a delicatessen and a slightly more formal dining room. They’ve also recently installed a Crustacea Bar on their riverside terrace where diners can dive into an array of fresh shellfish and seafood; great for lazy weekend lunches in the sun. On the Saturday night of our visit practically every area of the restaurant was buzzing with an eclectic mix of young and old, romantic couples and lively groups and everything in between.
Head Chef Lee Bennett has put together an easy going Modern French menu with plenty of seafood options. The ‘freebie’ Gazpacho appetizer got the taste buds in working order immediately, followed by our starter of what is probably London’s most fun dish – ‘Hors d’oeuvre maison’. It consists of (deep breath) smoked salmon & blini, a jellied oyster, dressed crab, scallop tartare and spicy prawn cocktail topped with a refreshing watercress foam. Paired with a stunning glass of Gruner Veltliner, I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun eating my way around such a diverse and well executed plate of food.
Mains were also excellent, with Miss Pancake somewhat bizarrely declaring that the Poached halibut with Noilly Prat veloute sent a “shiver down my arm”. My Roast Gressingham duck breast with oyster mushrooms & Madeira sauce had no such effect, but was delicious all the same. The fun returned for desserts, with the Cantaloupe sorbet with watermelon & Midori ‘soup’ being almost refreshing enough to set us up for an encore of the meal!
Service was smart and friendly, with waiters who spoke like they’d cooked the dishes themselves, whilst the Maitre d’ was equally successful in matching wines from their impressive list. Portions sizes were also excellent, making the £39 charged for 3 courses sound most reasonable for some outstanding food and an excellent location.
Cuisine type: Modern French/Seafood
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £39/head for 3 courses
Le Pont de la Tour
The Butlers Wharf Building
36d Shad Thames
London SE1 2YE
Tel: 020 7403 8403