Yet while The Mondrian is set to shake up the South Bank scene this September – thanks in part to its trendy Dandelyan bar (Ryan Chetiyawardana from Hoxton’s White Lyan will be mixing the drinks) and rooftop terrace – you can’t beat a classic.
And when it comes to classic South Bank venues, it’s Skylon that Haute Time keeps returning to. There are good restaurants and then there are great ones and Skylon – situated on the first floor of the Royal Festival Hall – is the latter.
This is a destination dinner spot – you come to see who else is there and to settle in for the long haul and drink in the stunning Thames views from the soaring windows.
But while Skylon’s setting has always dazzled, what they are plating up doesn’t disappoint either. Michelin starred chef, Adam Gray, was appointed executive head chef in Spring 2013 and another award is surely imminent.
A warm Goat’s cheese tart served with beetroot and port salad was one of the prettiest starters we have ever seen, while the scallops (Seared hand dived scallops, grilled English heritage potatoes, cauliflower cream and maple syrup dressing) was my companion’s “dish of the night”.
From the main course menu, we enjoyed the delicate Summer truffle macaroni cheese, baby spinach salad with Worcestershire sauce dressing while meat lovers will be wowed by the Glazed beef fillet, smoked bacon, baby leeks, summer truffle and Madeira beef gravy. Fish mains saw Roasted hallibut paired with buttered leeks, langoustine and shellfish bisque sauce and equally tasty Sea Bass accompanied by English asparagus and a lightly spiced mussel casserole.
A dessert of Cherry creme brûlée tart, basil sorbet and cherry salad was an unexpected highlight and the Iced peanut butter and chocolate brownie pudding with salted caramel ice cream tasted as good as it looked. Alternatively soothe your conscience with a selection of sorbets.
Skylon is well known for its wine but its cocktails pack a punch too. Factor in exemplary service – the all smiling staff are sharp, on it and forever polite – and it’s hard to find fault. Whether you go for the food, the views or the people watching, you’ll be blown away by this South Bank treasure.