I wasn't really one of the cool kids. But maybe I am now...or was for a few hours on Saturday night at least. At Sushisamba London. On the 38th floor of the Heron Tower to be precise. Take a look and see what you think...and don't worry, even non cool kids are made very welcome here.
Perfect dinner view - the highest outdoor dinner dining in London, the UK...and Europe
Richard: Hello, gorgeous. In a wildly optimistic gesture I ordered you a Dirty Martini.
Samantha: Dirty Martini? Dirty b*st*rd. (Throws drink over him and leaves).
Sound familiar? Ah yes, the New York branch of Sushisamba shot to fame in this Sex and The City scene. Who doesn't love a bit of martini throwing? And now we can share the love in London.
Dirty Martini, we didn't even throw it. Promise.
Sushisamba's first European branch opened last week and I have a feeling it's going to get very popular and hyped up very quickly. So the website blurb says it's a mixture of 'Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, culture, music and striking design to the City of London'. Oooh. I saw it on an events email a while ago and thought I'd bring my lovely friend when she was came over to visit. OK, yes, I wanted to show off my London to her. It worked. Times one thousand.
You arrive and glide up to the 38th floor of the Heron Tower in a scenic, AKA glass, lift. Very quickly. Already you're thinking 'this could be good...'. You're greeted by a gaggle of ladies in orange dresses, perhaps more one for the men. And then take a seat in (and I promised myself I wouldn't gush too much) possibly the most amazing restaurant dining room I've been in. In case you think I've lost the plot, here's a glimpse:
Sushisamba London, 38th Floor
Pick your jaw up. Order a cocktail to recover and continue the pleasure. My only niggle is that they were a little slow arriving, but they were excellent cocktails.
Mojitos for deux
The staff are very helpful and knowledgeable about the dishes and cater to your tastes and for allergies. Our party of six opted to let our waiter choose for us. Perhaps not the most wallet friendly choice, the high altitude must have been getting to us. But it was worth it.
It's food made for sharing, rather than having your normal one starter, main and dessert please. A range of small and larger plates are on offer of seafood, sushi (really?) and meats, with vegetarian options too. A Japanese grill is used for some dishes, like the char grilled scallops (full menu is available here). Some more of our favourites:
Simply Perfect Seviche
Yes, it is expensive. There's also a 15% service charge.You're talking £70 per person for dinner, wine and possibly an obligatory sake. Sake is always obligatory when you're 38 floors up gazing out across London. And you get a mini lesson on which one would be best suited for you. Many suited us.
The Restaurant Manager is the
most second most charming French man I have met. Ahem. And of course Mr. Moustache had to show off and have a little chat en Francais with him. He told us they want to keep the atmosphere welcoming and friendly. So I'm really hoping it doesn't turn into one of those 'too cool for school' places. We also learnt his insider tip for securing a wife - two pints and a French accent. Simple. Mr. M was taking a few notes.
One gripe though - no ketchup. Although my friend Richard did request some for us. Sure what goes better with crunchy rock shrimp tempura and melt in the mouth tuna?
Tuna, no ketchup
Psych. We're not that bad.
You won't want to leave and that's just fine, they're open until 3am at weekends. Spend the rest of your evening on the bar terraces or wander up to the 39th floor if you really must go higher and enjoy more cocktails, with a very friendly bar man, unlike on the 38th floor where he must have been having a bit of a bad night. Even the toilet trip here is something special...check out the view. Seriously.
We will be coming back...table booked...but hurry, apparently they have thousands of bookings already so samba onto the SushiTrain STAT. Doesn't sound like your cup of tea? Sosumi. Last Sushi joke I promise. I warned you I wasn't very cool. Ah sigh, going to our local pizza place is going to feel rather boring now.
PS: If the menu doesn't appeal (strange) then you could always try its sister restaurant Duck and Waffle on the 40th floor. We're going there in a few weeks, I'll let you know what it's like. When to go? Anytime, it's open 24-7. And what's with the name? Its signature dish of fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup that's what.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate
London, EC2N 4AY
0203 640 7330
Monday - Wednesday 11.30am - 1am. Thursday 11.30am - 2am. Friday - Saturday 11.30am - 3am.
Liverpool Street tube station, three minutes walk. Bank station, seven minutes walk.