Fenchurch Restaurant, Sky Garden

The Blurb

Located 37 storeys up in the clouds with glittering views over London and the Thames, Fenchurch Restaurant in the famed Sky Garden is spearheaded by Head Chef Kerth Gumbs. Fusing Anguillan and Caribbean notes with best-of-British seasonality, Gumbs has experience in some of London’s best kitchens including Ormer Mayfair; Quaglino’s; and Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier. Gumbs has just introduced a new tasting menu at Fenchurch made up of six courses with a wine or cocktail pairing available, as well as a vegetarian version.

The Style

Fenchurch is a restaurant designed to impress: from the expert tasting menus to the endless views, it’s all about the theatrics here, but there are no cheap tricks. Ingredients are venerated and you can tell there is a chef with heart at the operation. It’s sophisticated while still being fun. Expect to be amused and surprised but above all—well-fed.

The Crowd

Sky Garden is a major London tourist attraction, so expect it to be busy—especially at sundown. If you’re dining at Fenchurch or any of the other restaurants, you get complimentary access to Sky Garden up to 45 minutes before your reservation; however, you can still appreciate the epic views from within Fenchurch.

Within the restaurant itself, the crowd is still touristy, but it’s a fantastic special occasion spot for Londoners too.

The Food

Gumbs does a fantastic job of making food exciting. His menu is anything but ordinary or run-of-the-mill, but nothing is outré or designed to be shocking for the sake of being shocking—it’s just exciting flavour combinations that you won’t find in every other restaurant. There’s a sense of fantasy and respect for ingredients here. Most dishes blew me away, such as the aged duck with a fruity hit of tamarind, and even the “simpler” elements offered winning twists (like the hot-from-the-oven homemade sourdough bread served with whipped smoked haddock butter dusted with curry powder). I have a sweet tooth, so I adored the moist and morish Caribbean Ducana cake made with sweet potato and salted milk ice cream, as well as the pre-dessert of soursop ice lollies, which was inspired by the soursop tree in Gumbs’ backyard while growing up in Anguilla (they’re also playfully served with boozed-up gummy bears). The snacks as starters were also a highlight (I could have eaten dozens of those mac-and-cheese bites and the thinly sliced dauphinoise-style sweet-potatoes bites).

The Drink

I opted for the wine pairing, as Fenchurch has an award-winning wine list. The sommelier has done a lovely job with the pairing. Nothing too wild or unusual (you’ll find Whispering Angel rosé as one of these pairings), but they all make sense with the cuisine, and I especially enjoyed the sparkling wine by Hambledon Classic Cuvée made in Hampshire. There’s also a cocktail pairing available, which looked sensational.

In a Nutshell

Theatrical Caribbean-meets-British fine dining with dazzling city views.

The Details

Level 37, Sky Garden Walk, 1, London EC3M 8AF; 0333 772 0020 www.skygarden.london

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