It’s not often I have a disappointing dining experience and the only other time I blogged one was that infamous work Christmas party, but I’m about to share another one of those times. Not because I’m angry or annoyed, but because it had been hyped up and it was a special occasion – and quite frankly, I feel let down.
I booked lunch at Northbank for my mum’s birthday. I didn't mention this in my booking – maybe I should have. We were having a day in London and were going to the Tate afterwards, to the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition. I booked a table for 1pm, thinking an hour and a half would be plenty of time for lunch. In my reservation, I asked for a bar table, as there’s were delicious sharing platters on the bar ‘menu’. The day before when I confirmed my reservation, I was told the bar didn’t serve food and we’d have to sit in the restaurant. Not a problem.
The restaurant itself is beautiful, as the name suggests, it’s on Northbank and very close to the Millennium Bridge. There’s an outside terrace, which was packed on the Friday afternoon, but also plenty of seating inside. The decor is modern and quite quirky; the wallpaper matches the menu covers; the room itself is light and airy, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. We were fortunate enough to have the breeze come in from the open French doors, too.
We ordered drinks straight away: a large glass of sauvignon blanc for mum (it was her birthday, after all) and a lovely flute of prosecco for me. It was beautifully chilled and went down far too easily. We quickly decided upon our chosen dishes, but had to wait 40 minutes for the waitress to come over to take our order – Northbank is certainly not a place you go to when you have plans. And even then, mum was served something she didn’t even ask for.
I had the monkfish Thai green curry, because I don’t often that kind of fish and really love Thai curries. Served with sticky rice and a peapod, it was utterly gorgeous. The sauce was the perfect consistency and stuck to the rice – it wasn’t too hot, but the freshly sliced chilli more than made up for that. The fish was well cooked and the pieces were generous and meaty. I could have happily eaten another couple of plates, it was divine.
When mum’s food arrived, she was impressed. She ordered the Dorset crab and chilli linguini with seafood bisque (from the starters section). For a first course, the portion size was more than adequate and it looked beautiful. The food in terms of its presentation and taste was first-class.
We didn’t have time for dessert and instead just got the bill straight away. Our original waitress never returned to our table. I would like to return to Northbank to see if it was just an ‘off day’. The food really was superb, simple but well-executed; the quality and freshness just shone through. The location is ideal and given where it’s positioned, the prices were totally reasonable.
Love, Lucy xx