Searcys really know how to do sky high dining. The city is filled with bizarrely shaped skyscrapers all clustered together forming the iconic skyline we love. The “Cheese Grater” and the “Walkie Talkie” are unparalleled to London’s most recognised icon: The Gherkin. Formerly known as 30 St Mary Axe, The Gherkin is famed architect Norman Foster’s masterpiece, which – quite frankly – makes dining on the top floor of Searcys legendary.
Timing is everything when it comes to views. We arrived promptly at 7pm and sat by the wall of dazzling diamond panels forming a clear dome ceiling with a 360-degree view facing west, directly absorbing the gentle sunset across the city.
The Neo-futurist architectural design of the building is mirrored in my Searcys smoked salmon starter, creating a modern artwork in a very smart and artistic way of mimicking an exotic fish with a dried apple garnish – a refreshing sweetness cutting through the horseradish cream. We also tried the potted Morecambe Bay shrimp which spreads perfectly onto the malted sough dough and not to mention the constant flow of replenished delicious bread.
Moving along into the late summer evening, we went for a bottle of Granfort Merlot, which is the opposite of my often go-to. This was a superbly rich and juicy red merlot showing off a variety of notes such as plum, cherry, and vanilla with a dry finish.
Setting the seductive mood on this magical summer night, the city lights blossom into the night sky like a delicate flower. The fairy tale hue of sunset is set – our main course arrived. The Searcys Beef and Oyster pie, a modern and unique twist on the traditional pie that ingeniously dissects the pie and artfully refine the best parts.
The carefully squared stack of moreish short rib beef was cooked exceptionally well, I was pulling apart tender meat with such ease. Decorated with a crunchy and light pastry top, with a generous sprinkle of sesame seed garnishing. All sauces are poured meticulously in front of you at the table. The sweet and fragrant oyster sauce blends together with the tender, savoury meat – making it a match made in heaven. I (being 38 floors up) was close enough already.
Before deserts arrived, we marvelled at the impressive details dotted all over the restaurant: tabletop designs are the same spiral symmetric pattern of the glass panels forming the gherkin – which to me has a resemblance to a flower.
Ready for dessert, I was looking for something light and summery and the Searcys Summer Pudding was calling my name, using seasonal berries which were layered meticulously in between three layers of brioche alongside crème fraiche and mint, making it a real summer delight.
A nightcap to end our evening. I went for a Zero Waste Martini, and they were right – none of it went to waste. Using No.3 London dry gin, vermouth, champagne and a drop of basil oil dancing on the surface, this was a seductively sweet and savoury surprise. We also tried The Rainbow, a refreshing fruit salad of ingredients including Tanqueray No.10 infused with rhubarb, banana liquor, lemon and champagne.
Nothing is better than fading away into the ambiance of music while sipping cocktails, looking out into the beaming lights of the night’s skyline. You can also experience the Summer Sunset Series at the Gherkin on 24 September, a five course feast with wine. Searcys Iris Bar at The Gherkin returns from Saturday 4 September 2021. The Iris Bar is open to all and will offer a cocktail menu paying homage to the London sights and neighbourhoods that can all be spied below from the Gherkin.
To discover more, visit: searcysatthegherkin.co.uk
Imagery courtesy of Searcys unless otherwise stated.
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