Searcy’s at the Gherkin opened their top floor restaurant for non-members for a few weeks in summer (21 July – 4 Sept); just in time for my parents visit in the summer. We booked for brunch on a Sunday.
The security procedures for going up to the restaurant were overwhelming. We started with ID verification at the reception, followed by an X-ray security scan. Then we were escorted up the elevator to level 35(?) where we checked in our coats, then up another set of elevators to the restaurant, where we were finally released from close surveillance.
And boom! We were treated to a magnificent view of London. Though we have been to other high-rise restaurants in the city, like Duck & Waffle and The Shard, there is something about the Gherkin. It must be the multi-storey high ceiling and the 360 panoramic view that makes this so much more spectacular than the others.
Serrano ham, Eggs Benedict
Most of us went for eggs benedict. You can’t go wrong with this combination.
Waldorf salad, oxford blue and mayonnaise
Mingson wasn’t mad about the salad; think he found the cheese too strong, the icy pickled apple to acidic and the walnut too bitter too burnt. That said waldorf salad is not his usual choice because he doesn’t eat celery…
Salmon, new potato salad, mango, spinach
The salmon was lightly cured to retain its sashimi texture, bouncy and soft. The gentle curing brought out the fishy flavours from the salmon, which worked well with the fruity sweetness from the mango puree.
The truffle aroma was insanely strong, deeply infused with the creamy risotto. This was as good as the Gauthier Soho risotto, if not better. The only thing with truffle risotto, however, is that regardless of how well it’s made, the flavours get slightly numbing half way through because the truffle essence is so dominating. Once in a while is fine though.
Dark Chocolate Mousse, Marshmallows, Mint Hot Chocolate
Our server poured the mint hot chocolate sauce at the table. I don’t usually like mint chocolate, but because the dark chocolate was so rich, the mint worked really well to lift it. The scary fluorescent green marshmallow resembled a piece of polystyrene with highlighter spilled all over it, I didn’t touch them.
Strawberry & Cream
The lightest option from the menu, and we asked for the cream to be served on the side.
Lemon tart, raspberry sorbet
We had the pleasure of witnessing some dramatic weather conditions during our brunch. It started with clear blue skies, then a wave of thick clouds swept across the sky, bringing a massive storm and it started bucketing down. Back to blue skies before dessert.
Brunch at the Gherkin was an awesome experience. As mentioned, there is something spectacular about the view with the glass ceiling. It may not be the tallest, but perhaps the most extraordinary. The food was safe; reserved recipes that were well executed and beautifully presented. I can’t say it prompted me to apply for an annual membership straight away, but I am very glad I took Mama and Papa Chan here.
30 St Mary Axe
Tel: 0207 071 5052