YOU WILL, I expect by now, have seen videos, pictures, even gifs, of the Sky Garden. Whether it’s in glimpses of yoga at sunrise, cocktails held up against the towering glass windows that provide views across the entirety of London, or the luscious greenery that crown it London’s highest public garden, you are pretty familiar with what this magical sky scraper has to offer. If you are not, then hats off to you, but best keep reading because this boasts a special place on the list of must-see London locations. Sky Garden even has its own road named after it.
Saying that, despite my knowledge of the Sky Garden, when I was invited to try the restaurant that operates within the vicinity, Fenchurch, I must admit, I realised I wasn’t such an expert after all. Located on level 37, which is actually quite well hidden and only accessible via lift, the Fenchurch restaurant has been put back on the figurative Sky Garden map since head chef Michael Carr took the reins this year.
The Fenchurch, Sky Garden
The Fenchurch seven course menu dish
Former Great British Menu contestant, and Head Chef of the then Michellin-starred restaurant, The Box Tree in Yorkshire, Carr has crafted a culinary portfolio that caters to people who seek playful presentation, explosive flavour combinations, and the use of the finest seasonal ingredients in his menu. So, all of us.
Taking our seats at 8pm, as the sun was setting across the London skyline, we squealed in glee at the view we were to enjoy alongside our meal. We were there for seven courses after all. The exclusive use of glass or greenery to separate sections and encourage a sense of intimacy within the Sky Garden is unique, and allows the restaurant to simultaneously feel ten times its size yet exquisitely private.
Introducing us to Carr’s talented palette was a combination of two dishes that quiet frankly could not have encapsulated my childhood better. Marmite butter served with sourdough loaf and taramasalata with rosemary crisps. If you were friends with me in primary school you will likely remember me as the difficult one who would only have marmite or taramasalata sandwiches. None of the regular stuff. Yes, I was that particular. As you can imagine, when these were served, I was instantly impressed. Combined with head sommelier Alexandru Pastrav’s expertly guided wines and the delicious saltiness of the opening course was washed down with a gorgeous 2017 Cigalus blanc by Gerard Bertrand.
Views from the table
Hand dived Isle of Skye scallop, with XO sauce, mooli and topped with a delicately hand-crafted Fenchurch tuille
From then onwards, we were taken on a culinary journey, from watermelon, burrata, golden raisin and walnuts to the hand dived Isle of Skye scallop, with XO sauce, mooli and topped with a delicately hand-crafted Fenchurch tuille, not forgetting the dreamy pan braised halibut, Carr did not fall short on bringing the ‘explosive’ to his favour combinations. It was subtly done, however, and each dish worked as an introduction to the next, gradually building your appreciation in the process.
Finishing with a chocolate dessert, which I admittedly struggled to even start, with cocktail in hand, each named after areas of London (as an east Londoner I, of course, had to try the Mile End), we watched the final glimmers of the deep orange sun begin to dissolve.
The Fenchurch, Sky Garden is a truly elevated dining experience. Quite literally.
by Lily Rimmer
The lunch tasting menu is priced at £65 per person (£120 with wine pairing), whilst the seven-course dinner
menu is £95 per person (£170 with paired wines).
Fenchurch Restaurant is open every Thursday to Sunday for lunch, and every Wednesday to Sunday for
Visit here to make a booking.