27 November 2013

Tower Hotel Brasserie - Restaurant Review

It's a tough job to match one of the best views of London with a menu that stands up on it's own two feet. Nestled in a rather brutalist shell, when we were invited to the Guoman hotel chain's Tower Hotel brasserie to try the new "Goanut" we weren't sure what to expect. It was delicious. And the view was as beautiful as it could be for this permatourist..
 
 
 
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the Tower Hotel Brasserie, but my (many) opinions are only ever my own, and I would never recommend anywhere that I wouldn't happily visit, and revisit on my own dime.
 
 

The international Foodie news has been abuzz of late with the latest patisserie concoctions; New York Chef Dominique Ansel's "Cronut", a hybrid of croissant-doughnut hybrid that has New Yorkers queueing for hours in the cold, the David and Goliath struggle of Bea's of Bloomsbury and Starbucks trying to claim trademarking of the "Duffin" a marriage of doughnuts and muffins, and the latest metamorphosis of gourmet Eclairs in Paris.

 
 
Amuse Bouche/ Goat’s Cheese Doughnuts
Caramel Mousse, Beetroot Compote, Caramelised Pecans, Cress Lettuce

The Goanut, a savoury twist on patisserie, is the brainchild of Guoman’s executive chef, Christian Rozsenich and his passionate team and is a savoury riff on the traditional doughnut. Two goats cheese balls, one with a soft sweet doughnut texture contains a delicate goat cheese and mascarpone centre, and the other has a stronger goats cheese flavour with a crunchier shell. They are fun and very playful - the texture is a really interesting talking point, and has been counterpointed with a salted caramel mousse, marinated beetroot and crunchy maple coated pecan nuts.
 
Starters/ Scallops
Braised Fennel, Coconut Mash, Malibu Butter
 
 
Duck Two Ways
Smoked Glazed Duck breast, Duck Rillette, Red Pepper Tapenade, Garlic Cream, Caraway Seeded Brioche
 
Delicately pan-fried, the scallops were simply divine. It was the first time Mr Kiwi has ever tried scallops, and he was very lucky as they were the best I've ever sampled whilst living in London. And it's tough to please this Kiwi girl when it comes to seafood. The accompaniments were prefectly light and matched to the scallops without overwelming them with big flavour. The duck was scrummy, and brioche was delightful, though I possibly could have done with something to slightly sharper to pop, matching the richness of the duck.

 Mains/ Barbary Duck Breast
Slow Roast Red Cabbage, Almond Dumplings, Clementine Foam

Baked Broccoli & Montgomery Cheddar Bonbons
Truffled Cauliflower Gratin, Sweet Pepper Veloute, Wild Mushrooms

If there is an overriding theme to the Restaurant menu, it's simple, good food (with a slight Bavarian twist owing to the strong influence of Austrian chefs in the team) and flavour combinations that interest the palate but don't confuse them by being conflicting and brash.

The combination of beautifully cooked duck, red cabbage and clementine is a nice twist on orange and duck, and the dumplings were delicious. A surprise for us was Mr Kiwi's vegetarian Baked Broccoli & Montgomery Cheddar Bonbons. Now, Mr Kiwi is a die-hard meat-eating Englishman but his foray into the vegetarian world was scrumptious - and it's hard to find a decent vegetarian main that can satisfy as well as a meaty one, whilst still being fun, tasty and playful. This definitely ticked the boxes.

Dessert/White Chocolate Tiramisu
Kahlua Infused Biscuits, Summer Berries

Feeling very, very full, we were talked into trying our waiters favourite dessert; the White Chocolate Tisamisu. It's a perfect sharer - rich, delicious and a perfect way to end a delicious meal. The menus will be changed over the New Year to reflect the new season, but I hope that the White Chocolate Tiramisu makes the cut.

(Kind courtesy of the hotel)

The service was great - attentive without being overwelming (and the staff are big fans of the dessert menu which is always nice to see, instead of just recommending the most expensive dish). We will definitely be back for a nice celebration meal and it will possibly our new summer drink venue. And those scallops, oh those scallops. For further details, prices and the menu, check out their website.

16 comments :

  1. Emma - you need to be doing this for a living! Being a food critic and food writer, I mean. The way you describe this meal, it makes my mouth water! I'd love to try that white chocolate tiramisu!

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  2. I stayed here recently. Unfortunately the rest of the hotel needs a bit of refurbishment so my prejudice didn't let me try the restaurant! I think I might have missed out though!

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    1. Ahh, we didn't get to explore the rest of the hotel as we didn't have enough time. It is an interesting juxtaposition.

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  3. Oh lord... Honestly, what a review! I so want this duck with almond dumplings right now. Thanks again Emma, it's always a pleasure to read your foodie adventures. Definitely have to go and get some lunch now ;)

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    1. I'm just calling it how I see it! Thank you!

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  4. This sounds incredible, I like the way the flavours really sound like the compliment each other and like you said, aren't overly complicated. I love restaurants that change up their menu's seasonally as well.

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    1. I can't wait to go back and see what they have in store for us.

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  5. I want to go to there. That is all.

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  6. You're killing me! Just seared scallops, goats cheese, rare duck....WANT. Can't have. SOB.

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  7. i don't even think I could eat that, it's too pretty. Oh wait, yes, yes, I could, especially the duck and Truffled Cauliflower Gratin!

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    1. It's a tough decisions, but if you were faced with those smells...

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  8. That restaurant has a gorgeous view and those scallops looks delectable. I wish that I could cook scallops, but I always fail at that, so when I go out to a restaurant if they are on the menu I usually order them.

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    1. I'm exactly same. Steak we have to a fine art, but I'm not sure that I would be brave enough to attempt scallops. I couldn't bear the disappointment.

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