Restaurants Travel

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel


On a warm evening last June I got to dress up for a special night out with my husband; the plan was a four-course dinner with matching wines at The Brasserie restaurant of the Guoman Tower Hotel.

I was invited by the restaurant to review their new tasting menu, so we just sat down and let the lovely waiters and chef think of everything else, while we focused on the stunning view in front of us!

The Brasserie overlooks the Tower Bridge, with the Shard peeking behind it, so our dinner came with a free show of the sun setting over the river Thames!

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel
The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel
The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel
The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel

The Brasserie's menu features seasonal British dishes with an equal balance of classics (beef carpaccio, pan fried sea bass, risotto, steak…) and some more inventive proposals (goat cheese doughnuts, duck two ways, pan seared calves liver).

I tried the tasting menu which comprised of four courses: the Game, the Ocean, the Farm and the Treat. They featured highlights from the A La Carte menu, so it was a good way for me to sample what the Brasserie can do best.

Chef Tejas Ranadive came around to our table to introduce each course, which was great to understand the complexity of each dish and how the various ingredients complemented each other.

I started my meal with The Game: Venison mousse, glazed smoked duck breast, wild board prosciutto, Cumberland sauce, brioche, cracked black pepper ice cream.

The duck breast was my favourite and I was surprised by how well the pepper ice cream worked with the venison mousse.

The dish was paired with Cotes du Rhone Les Abelles red wine.

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel
The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel

My husband could not eat the first two meat courses, so instead he was served vegetarian dishes from the A La Carte menu, starting with The Goanut, the most popular dish at the Guoman restaurant.

It's a warm doughnut stuffed with goat’s cheese and served with caramel mousse, beetroot compote, caramelised pecan nuts and cress lettuce. It was launched last summer on the wave of the cronut craze and it's remained as one of the highlights of the menu.

Needless to say, we loved it and alone it's a good reason to visit the Brasserie.

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel

The second course was the Ocean: lobster ravioli, seared scallops, grilled seabass, Beluga lentils, black truffle honey, celeriac puree. It was paired with a glass of Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc which was also my favourite wine of the night.

I always joke about how scallops are ubiquitous on British menus, but when cooked right they are one of my favourite seafood and that was the case with the seared scallop at the Brasserie. The highlight though was the lobster ravioli, I would have happily eaten a whole plate of them!

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel

The main meat course was again a meat-based one (the Farm) with grilled beef steak, confit duck pasta, pulled lamb shoulder, pancetta, pumpkin puree, sautéed spinach and three grain risotto.

The beef steak was tasty, but too rear for my taste. I loved the pulled lamb shoulder and three grain risotto.

The matching wine was a Don Jaobo Rioja Crianza Tinto, a well structured wine that paired well with the meat.

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel
The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel

Finally the last course was a dessert spread with Hazelnut parfait, fig crème brûlée, marzipan chocolate brownie, berry compote, white chocolate custard and vanilla ice cream.

If I had to pick my highlight it would be the crème brûlée, which was fantastic. The chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream didn't impressive and could have been left out of the spread. The hazelnut parfait on the other hand was delicious.

The desserts were paired with a glass of Zinck Portrait Riesling, a white wine with citrus fruit aromas.

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel
The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel
The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel

At the end of the night we were both very satisfied with the food and attentive service from the Brasserie waiting staff and chef, but unfortunately on the whole the restaurant lacks in atmosphere. The interiors would benefit from a re-style with a fresher, more appealing look.

Obviously being located inside a hotel means the restaurant needs to be in line with the style of the Guoman chain, but equally the corporate look might keep real Londoners away. My impression was that the majority of the diners were hotel guests and professionals who work nearby. I would recommend eating here for the location as the view was obviously a big part of the experience.

Walking back to London Bridge after dinner was magic and for a night we enjoyed being tourists in London!

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel

Disclaimer: I dined at The Brasserie as a guest of the restaurant. All views are my own.

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