With summer finally having returned, we recommend a celebration – with food.
After spending over a year in lockdowns, Londoners have been starved of opportunities to explore the bustling food scene, which is returning with a vengeance.
There are new restaurants opening at every turn, like Cafe Cecilia in Hackney or The Pem near St James’s Park (which launched just yesterday).
Or, if you’d like superb views of the Thames with your meal, give Sea Containers’ new summer terrace by the Soutbank a try.
Hosted alongside the champagne brand Laurent-Perrier, we visited the restaurant last month for a seafood feast.
Luckily, the sun was shining.
There are a lot of things to love about Sea Containers and its servers are at the top of that list – so much so, that we’re going to start by giving a shout-out to the eagle-eyed host who made sure our glasses were never empty and delivered food (and flirty banter) at an efficient speed.
Then again, the copious amounts of champagne consumed on the day might have had something do with why we liked him so much.
Nevertheless, on to the food – which is sustainably sourced where possible, something that is especially important with fish, what with bycatch being such an issue in the industry.
The menu is a seafood-lover’s dream – especially the newly-launched dishes inspired by “thriving British indigenous flora” such as Fruits de Mer, which at £90 might sound pricey but not when you consider the plate’s contents: octopus, prawns, dressed crab, oysters, lobster remoulade and sea bass ceviche.
If you prefer a small plate, there’s also steamed mussels, pan fried scallops and more.
We started with sharers, such as the Crab on Sourdough – which was the winning dish of the day. The crab is perfectly paired with avocado, jalapeños and coriander, with a fresh and tangy flavour that leaves you wanting more.
The Ceviche Tacos also impressed, and there was a meat starter of Salt Beef Croquettes, however it fell flat in comparison (but we came for the fish, so do bear that in mind).
As for the mains, guests can choose between flatbreads, salads and grains, sharer dishes – including Whole Grilled Sea Bass, Roast Chicken or Côte de Boeuf – or standard large plates.
We opted for the latter, trying the Salmon with carrot confit, gem lettuce, whelks and fish jus and the Dry-aged Ribeye, served with watercress, shallot, peppercorn sauce.
The salmon was delicious, this isn’t your average supermarket pick. Although it’s a ridiculous statement, the dish wasn’t very fishy, which is further proof of just how fresh the fish really is at Sea Containers.
However, the dish is fairly small at £28, but this was remedied with a side of Green Beans dressed in garlic, chilli and almonds (regardless of your main of choice, try this side – it’s incredibly moreish).
Meanwhile the ribeye was pretty standard – there’s only so much you can play with steak – but cooked well and the peppercorn sauce complemented it perfectly.
Finally, dessert was a shared Mango Cheesecake, drizzled with passion fruit, diced mango, coriander cress and – this writer’s favourite floral ingredient – lavender.
It’s an acquired taste however, as lavender can be quite overpowering, so bear that in mind if you’re sensitive to floral flavours.
All in all, we had a great experience – and we’ll be back for that crab.
Sea Containers is located in the hotel by the same name, which has also just opened a rooftop bar alongside Bombay Sapphire.