Thursday, 22 November 2012

Blueprint Cafe - Tower Bridge laid out

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.

Smoked Yellowfin tuna, lime & soy dressing, macerated vegetables
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.

Design Museum
28 Shad Thames
Tel: 0207 378 7031

Blueprint Cafe on Urbanspoon
You may also like: ZuccaJoseDuck & Waffle


  1. Just by looking at the foods you've ordered makes me want to go there too. I'll make sure to visit this restaurant too and eat a bunch of foods.

  2. The foods look yummy and inviting; but what caught my attention more is the place itself. I like how the restaurant was set and arranged, the chairs and tables used were perfect for the place.

  3. Now that's the best bistro combination right there. Great location, comfortable seating, good food, and a fantastic view. I'd definitely make a visit there, provided I can visit London on a budget.

  4. Eating great food while sitting on some high-end seats and having a good view of Tower Bridge on the side? Sign me up; I'd love to go there.

  5. The great thing about this bistro is that it has a great combination of great food and well-rendered interiors. These two, I think, is what makes a winning restaurant. The good view of tower bridge is probably a good bonus.

  6. With this kind of fine dinning, I would probably come back again and again. My Family would definitely love this of restaurant.

  7. Maybe, I will treat my wife in this kind of restaurant. As I look on those photos listed above, It's definite interesting to go through.