Who knew you could get a taste of Cornwall in central London overlooking the majestic Thames? Northbank restaurant is a hidden gem situated under the north side of the Millennium Bridge, and serves a seafood-heavy, contemporary British menu, with its glass-fronted restaurant offering views of the Tate Modern and The Globe.
Northbank is the brainchild of restaurateur Christian Butler (ex-Adam Street and Baltic) and has been serving up seafood since September 2007. Hailing from Falmouth in Cornwall, Butler proudly uses seafood fresh from the boats, which is shipped up daily. Customers are therefore tempted with shellfish, snapper, lobster and crab, along with the unique taste of cheese, tea, gin and vodka from Cornish producers.
The restaurant might not be on the beaten track- you will probably need your GPS on your phone! But once found, it will definitely be on your radar. Popular with office workers who come for the bar and follow it with dinner, and tourists who spy it from the Southbank, it’s also a delightful place for a romantic meal, and has a private dining room for parties.
I enjoyed dinner on a sunny Monday evening with a friend, and we were torn between sitting on the secluded, sun trap terrace or inside in a cosy booth. We chose the latter, as we are in autumn after all. But with pretty much all of the seating inside offering stunning views of the river, if the food had been terrible at least the scenery didn’t disappoint!
However, the food was as memorable as the dining experience. My friend and I decided to share (my choice, so I could double my options!) and we perused the vast menu to see what tickled us. Seafood heavy, there were options for steak and vegetarian, but for me, fresh fish always wins!
Torn between the red mullet with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and cauliflower and truffle risotto, we decided on goats cheese tartlets, meaty mussels in a smoked bacon onions and cider broth (with homemade bread to soak up the juices) along with juicy Falmouth Bay scallops on ham hock- another taste sensation to start!
Thankfully, after our indulgent opener, there was plenty of time between before our main course, which allowed us to enjoy a crisp South African Pinot Grigio, as we fantasise about what was to follow. Crab tagliatelle is one of my all time favourite dishes, and Dorset crab did not disappoint- I would have happily licked my bowl, however I was pretty full after sampling some of my companion’s swordfish and hand-cut chunky chips!
Alas we didn’t have time to sample anything else on the drinks menu- which promised a selection as eclectic as the food. Next time, I will definitely try Cornish mead cocktail (a honey based liquor, popular with King Henry VIII), and were too full for desert! The only downside is that I wish I could have stayed longer and lingered in the bar, but alas I had to head back to Brighton.
Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Sat. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Closed Sun.
One Paul’s Walk