It's difficult to find a decent restaurant in London Bridge. Yes Bermondsey Street is slowly filling up, but the riverside is still rather lacking. I was suggested the Blueprint cafe in the Design Museum, overlooking the Tower Bridge on Shad Thames.
The location was unbeatable. The restaurant had a vast open space, full-length window that opens up to Thames and the Bridge. There were binoculars on each table in case the massive bridge wasn't clear enough.
Thick slices of tuna was delicately smoked to give a thin rim of fishy essence, flavours were locked in and well-hung with a matt finishing. There is a touch of fusion here in the soy sauce. The lime juice had the same citrusy grapefruit effect in yuzu dressing, followed by a nose-prickling punch from the wasabi-infused dollop of mayo. Delish.
Cromer crab, avocado, elderflower
Simple and usual combination of crab and avocado. Generous portions of shredded crab meat was mixed with creamy mayo and a thin smear of avocado puree on the side. Not the sweetest and freshest of crab meat, but more than good enough. Lots of light touches to lift the weight richness; succulent, a bit hairy, leaves released refreshing juices, and chef resisted the temptation of loading the plate with avocado.
Slow poached & roast duck egg, polenta, mushroom
It doesn't look like a poached egg; but it really was. The egg still had the runny, gooey yolk that leaked and trickled over the rest of the dish. I think I get it; a poached egg is too moist and the deep fried polenta becomes soggy, so it was briefly roasted to get rid of excess water to firm up the dish and avoid diluting flavours.
It tasted great, the balsamic essence was sweeter than usual and gave a nice twist to such familiar combinations. That said I thought it was quite dry, the crispy shell almost sucked all moisture from my mouth and nothing compensated it. Perhaps a bit of fragrant olive oil on the mushrooms?
Heather honey infused Aylesbury Duck, turnip gratin, swiss chard
There was a lot going on on this plate, and every section was scrumptious. The duck breast was light, beautifully cooked with a touch of pink and a crispy skin. The lump of duck leg was tender, succulent and glazed with a slightly sweet jus. The turnip gratin was a great alternative to the usual potato dauphinoise, less heavy on the stomach, sweeter and juicer and added a unique twist.
We didn't stay for desserts given it was a weekday sneak-out-of-the-office lunch. But I like what I have seen so far. I like how museums now care about their restaurants, another example is Whitechapel Gallery, they are serving more than pastries and coffees. Blueprint isn't perfect or extraordinary, the kitchen is still experimenting, but they have a firm grasp of the basics and they make the effort. If anything, the view definitely makes up for the flaws.
28 Shad Thames
Tel: 0207 378 7031