SECRET BRUNCH AWARDS
2 0 1 5 F I N A L I S T : D A R W I N B R A S S E R I E A T T H E S K Y G A R D E N
20 Fenchurch building, more famously known as the walkie-talkie
building (yes, the one that surprisingly melted a car and fried an egg)
houses three drinking and dining options and bulges out of the
historic London streets.
Perhaps entering the building is a little cold, as we had to manoeuvre
through airport like security, and much like the ear popping take off,
we were whisked up to the 35th floor on route to Darwin Brasserie.
Stepping out of the lift we were greeted by the fragrance of an urban
oasis, with freshly watered shrubs, ferns laced with delicate notes of
French Lavender and fragrant herbs. Botanical Gardens it is not, but
it refreshed our Sunday morning senses before we brunched.
The view is simply put, Butterfly inducing.
Darwin Brasserie is an all-day, any-occasion restaurant & has an overall
theme of informality. The layout and pallet choice for the brasserie is
natural and neutral, complimenting the surrounding view of the city.
We were taken back to the Secret Brunch 'Mile High brunch' in Paris, where the décor and view complimented rather than competed.
We were invited to our seats, front row no less. It being a rainy Sunday afternoon, we thought our view might be obscured, but the sky drew its curtains revealing the city below. We braced ourselves for a cinematic-like experience.
The ambience was comfortable, inviting and mellow. Do not expect to find a raucous champagne style brunch here. As we casted our eyes around the room, it was evident that this gem was enjoyed by a range of demographics. Families, travellers and cosmopolitan all sat in awe of not only the view, but the delicious looking buffet style affair that had been flirting with us all, since the moment we stepped into the front door.
T H E O P E N I N G ACT
We were guided through the menu, which included a selection of starters from the buffet table, one hot dish and right back to the buffet for dessert. Very straight forward and uncomplicated, we couldn’t wait to tuck in.
Our favourite dish was the asparagus tips with truffle, peas, broad beans and goats cheese. This was because of it's lightness, and combination of flavours. Finished off with a beautiful presentation.
Other highlights for us included the prawn cocktail with bloody mary sauce, fresh horseradish, Heritage Loom tomato, the potato and pancetta salad, and a selection of artisanal British cured meats. Our Sunday brunch was off to a fantastic start.
On our way back to our seats, we noticed a large gathering around the bar area... Ah! The Bloody Mary, juice and Smoothie Bar!
Go on, give in to temptation. Afterall, what is brunch without a little bit of naughtiness.
Now back to the brunch! Presentation of the buffet display was neat, yet homely. Offers included an exciting range of options for the vegetarians.
The choice of dishes were not overwhelming, nor too heavy for thoseheavy heads from the night before.
T H E M A I N S H O W
One course, two Bloody Marys, two morning smoothies down, it was time to move on to the hot dish section.
The menu showcased the best of British, and it doesn't dissapoint. We were pleased to see an array of classic dishes, including Eggs Benedict, Pancakes and Omelettes. It also included a very delicious looking Sunday roast, with all the traditional trimmings.
Feeling slightly adventurous, we decided to go with a twist on our favourite classic, The Eggs Benedict, as well as the Full English Breakfast.
The kitchen timed the arrival of our food perfectly. Two voluptuous eggs with spicy crab arrived neatly, presented and tucked into a thick blanket of béarnaise sauce, spread over the traditional toasted English muffin.
The delicate fresh crab was slightly over-powered by the béarnaise sauce. However, the right flavours made their way through, and the overall taste and ooze factor was perfectly achieved.
The Full English Breakfast was rather a neatly presented breakfast.
A slightly dry bacon was over-shadowed by the Cumberland Sausage and Portobello Mushrooms. The dish paid decent homage to it's motherland, but it felt rather unadventurous or perhaps slightly out of place in what could be a chic & very simple menu.
Between each mouthful, we couldn’t help but exchanged flirty glances with the dessert display. You can't blame us as there were mountains of bakewell slices tucked between chocolate brownies, banana and honey cake with a Pecan Glaze, whilst the little golden clouds of sugar doughnuts all layed out before us. Shall we, shall we not? Oh we must most certainly!
T H E C L O S I N G A C T
The day ended with an accomplished look at the view, a final sip of our bloody marys (Note to self, they go great with anything).
We took a fictional bow to the restaurant and made our way out, with a bon voyage from the French lavender.
In our opinion, there was no better way to begin the SBAward reviews than opening with Darwin Brasserie. Our expectations were set high, and Sky Garden did deliver.
Our Verdict: A 'feast' definitely worth climbing the city skyline
Service: No compalints
Will we go back? In a heartbeat
Vote HERE for Darwin Brasserie to be crowned as your 2015
Voting closes on 5th of December 2015.