I don't normally do restaurant reviews as I don't normally go to restaurants. But I recently traipsed up to London to have lunch on top of the Gherkin. Now I have a rule of thumb about restaurants - the more spectacular the site, the more beautiful the view, the worst the food and service. This certainly applies in the country when that idealistic pub on the rivers edge, with salmon leaping over the weir, turns out to offer over priced, disgusting, microwaved rubbish so I was interested to see if the rule applied to London. When you finally get to the top of the Gherkin, after going through a sort of airport security kerfuffle at the base, the view is undeniably five star, you sit in comfortable ultra modern chairs over looking the vast panorama of London laid out at your feet. Sitting there sipping a excellent Bloody Mary was a truly great experience. but what of the restaurant?
We sat down and I perused my menu, and then I went back over it again getting ever more anxious because you know what - there was absolutely nothing on it that rang any bells with my greed particles. It is true I was tempted by a starter which which was called Pig on toast .....etc. I have never seen a 'Pig on Toast' and was intrigued enough to ask the waiter if the piece of toast was a very big one. Apparently it wasn't the whole Pig which went on the toast but just a bit of mushed up cheek of pig - to which I was nearly made a pooterish response that; 'wasn't it a bit of cheek to call a bit of mashed up cheek of pig 'Pig on toast' but I resisted the temptation.
At last we ordered. Mine was something to do with smoked salmon though when it arrived I was hard put to spot the smoked salmon or anything else for that matter so minuscule was the offering on my plate. This was nouvelle cusiine taken to extremes. No danger of getting fat here I thought. Then we waited and waited and waited till our main course came -eventually - with much fanfare and an abundance of waiters. we weren't going to get fat on this course either but it was a little more substantial than the last one. Mine was something to do with breast of Gressingham duck ........etc not that I have clue where Gressingham is or why a duck from Gressingham should be in anyway superior to a duck from anywhere else. It was in fairness very good, what there was of it. We avoided being tempted by pudding and went straight on to coffee which arrived in a good sized cup and was offered a chocolate to go with it.
On my way back on the train I had a cup of tea and was so hungry that I splashed out on a slice of 'railway cake' to go with it. So what of the restaurant? well the menu gets five stars for pretentiousness and the food gets five stars for anorexics, but, put simply, an invitation to the Gherkin won't tempt me out of the confines of Devon again.