There is something so special about having a day off when it is sunny, knowing that the rest of your colleagues are stuck in the office. Yesterday I got to be free for a day, on a normal weekday can you believe it? Usually I would save my days off for something special but yesterday was just because! Me and my friend were very excited to have lunch up in the blue sky at Aqua Shard located on the 31st floor. As requested, they were kind enough to give us window seats and it was beautiful.
The restaurant was lively but relaxed and full of business people on their lunches.
We opted for the 3-course set menu for £28. It seemed like a pretty good deal at the time and especially considering that I have spotted a drink next door at Oblix for £750, no joke!
The starters rolled in quite quickly and the staff were nice and attentive.
Potato & Purple carrot soup – courgette ribbons, carrot agar and foie gras cream. I’m usually not the one for soups but the taste and thick texture of this was great.
Tartar from the land and sea – hand cut beef, smoked tuna loin, turnips cooked with organic cider, pickled onion puree and crispy potatoes. The flavour was very strong and each ingredient on the side complimented the tartar, not to mention the dish was well presented.
So far so good we thought, little did we know our jaws were in for one hell of a workout for the main course and this was supposed to be our lazy Friday.
It looked good but the smile didn’t last for very long…
Scottish Black Angus skirt steak – caramelised shallots, Norfolk radish & truffle salad and green peppercorn sauce. We dug straight in and went silent. Usually this is a positive sign that the food is soooo good that you don’t want to speak but no, we were chewing and chewing… and chewing. In my head I was thinking “Oh this is because I chose medium rare, damn it I always choose the wrong one!”.
Whilst my eyes were popping out from shock at this never-ending jaw workout, I asked my friend if her meat was also chewy. She responded “Yes! I was thinking it’s because I chose medium well done!”. It turns out that during our moment of silence we were both thinking the exact same thing.
The restaurant manager kindly assured us that the meat is supposed to be this chewy…… great, how extremely helpful and I’m sure that all other customers loved this meat as much as we did. If this really was the case, this should have been mentioned by the waitress when specifically requesting for the meat to be made tender. On a positive note, the seasoning of the steak was good and the potato-mash was creamy and dreamy.
On to the dessert!
This buttermilk panna cotta – confit rhubarb salad and spiced biscuit was ok at it’s best. Go to M&S and find the raspberry one, THAT is what I call a nice panna cotta.
You can never go wrong with a cheese platter with wine for dessert so this one is a safe option, I can’t complain.
Verdict: Overall the view is gorgeous and you go there for that solely because in all honesty, the food isn’t worth the money for what is it. Expect the bill with service, sides and drinks to come up to a minimum of £40 per head. I would personally advise to explore other more reputable restaurants in the Shard but if you must – opt for the 2-course set-menu for £24 as the dessert was nothing special and avoid the meat.