Tucked away under the Millenium Bridge, Northbank holds a prime riverside location in central London with stunning views of the Thames and Southbank with its iconic landmarks like the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Shard. The Modern British menu with Cornish influence changes in tune with the seasons, making this a great casual lunch or dinner getaway all year round.
Head chef John Harrison, a classically trained chef, worked in some renowned restaurants before joining Northbank last year and we were rather excited to meet him in person and try his take on Modern British cuisine for lunch on a cold Saturday afternoon in January. The ambience and environment of Northbank is neither too formal nor informal and offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with friendly and attentive staff.
We first settled at the bar to enjoy a couple of drinks that deserve a special mention, the cocktails at Northbank are utterly delicious – I can actually see myself visiting just for the Strawberry Bison (Zubrowska Vodka shaken with Passion fruit puree, strawberries, passoa liqueur and apple juice).
My friend Suze aka the Luxury Columnist already mentioned the cocktails at Northbank and in particular a Chocolate Martini that she once enjoyed there. Unfortunately, Jorge, the bartender told me that this was a one-off experimentation with Nutella, however, he surprised me later with a chocolate/coffee Martini that he brought to the table which was delicious too. Until then I enjoyed the Strawberry Bison and my husband a Gin & Tonic with The Botanist Dry Gin as its base.
After a great start at the bar, we were given a window table with spectacular views of the surrounding areas. Northbank is such a lovely hidden gem tucked away on the river bank – it so central, yet off the beaten track, away from the hustle and buzzle of the Southbank opposite.
To start with, we were served bread and butter and when we mentioned to our friendly waitress Cristal that my husband is on a wheat free diet he was given a gluten free slice of toasted bread which was a lovely touch.
My husband and I both opted for seafood as starters which were accompanied by a nice chilled glass of French Muscadet. The Cornish Coastline Crab Tian with Clementines and Chestnuts was my husbands choice which he very much enjoyed – the clementines and greens added a wonderful freshness to the crab meat.
Whereas I opted for the special that day which was Steamed Mussels with Saffron Cream – it is peak season for mussels right now and what better way to serve them in a cream based sauce with a touch of saffron that gave the sauce a beautiful colour and a hint of luxury.
For mains, I had Seared Duck Breast with Butter Poached Salsify and Root Vegetables which was pink and juicy on the inside with a crisp skin on top. It was just the perfect comfort food on a cold wintery day which was accompanied by a lovely glass of Argentinian Malbec.
Another beautiful warming main dish was the Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb With Buttered Mash and Thyme Jus that my husband chose. The meat was beautifully tender and the sauce and mash complimented it nicely.
The dessert at the end of our meal did not disappoint either – Sticky Date Pudding, Black Treacle Caramel and Iced Crème Fraiche rounded the meal up beautifully!
While we enjoyed our beautiful and relaxing lunch in the comfort and warmth of the restaurant, the weather outside was rather temperamental with hail coming down at one point.
Thankfully by the time we left, the sun made an appearance and we had a look at Northbank’s outside terrace that must be stunning during the warmer summer month and the perfect place to sipping a cocktail while overlooking the Thames!
We were guests of Northbank – opinions are my own!