London’s Bankside is becoming a more popular area to visit in the evening, with new bars and restaurants popping up and is convenient to get to, being just a stone’s throw away from the Tate Modern and an easy walk from Southwark, Waterloo and London Bridge stations.
One such restaurant is OXBO Bankside, which you will find in the design-led Hilton London Bankside. This spacious and modern British restaurant with an open kitchen at the far end, is ideal for a casual dinner with friends, a celebratory catch up or the setting for a romantic date night.
OXBO’s new menu, which I recently tried, is packed with popular favourites from around the world, that include their signature Aberdeen Angus Beef Burger with homemade chips and their Medallions of Fresh Monkfish served with grilled asparagus and crushed purple potatoes.
Executive Head Chef Ollie Couillaud has created a menu that features produce from Hilton London Bankside’s own roof garden and showcases sustainably sourced seasonal British ingredients, where you will find dishes with European, Middle Eastern as well as British influences, in a nod to the restaurant’s multi-cultural neighbourhood.
Ollie says that he wanted to make the menu offering lighter and “showcase the best of British produce with colourful dishes that marry flavours from France to Morocco. We also threw in a bit of luxury, to encourage people to treat themselves after a tough two years. Think bright heritage tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and the last of the spring asparagus. This is happy food.”
We started our evening with a classic Aviation Gin & Tonic from the hotel’s popular Distillery Bar, where they serve a range of seasonal cocktails to suit most tastes as well as some alcohol-free cocktails.
We found the menu to be simple and straightforward offering a tempting selection of dishes and started with the Grilled Sardines on toast with confit globe artichoke and chives, and the Grilled Asparagus with peas, broad beans, aubergine caviar and a chickpea and mint crisp.
For our main course, I opted for the Grilled Sirloin Steak which comes with a small salad and French Fries but substituted the fries for some healthy steamed broccoli. My guest chose the Neck of Lamb sourced from Salt Marsh, Wales and is marinated in Middle Eastern spices and paired with spiced couscous and coconut yoghurt and mint to evoke warmer climes. Both the steak and lamb were tender, and the vegetables cooked to perfection.
As we were both having meat, we thought a red wine would be most suitable and chose a rather excellent 2018 Chantepierre Côtes Du Rhône, which paired rather well with our respective dishes, and is available by the glass (£9) or bottle (£34.50). It’s always nice to see a wine list that offers some decent wines by the glass, and out of the 10 white and 10 red wines on the menu, five whites and five reds are available by the glass. As well as French wines, you will also see labels from Spain, Italy, Australia, Argentina and South Africa, starting at a fairly reasonable price of £25 for a bottle.
Having skipped lunch, I fortunately still had room for a dessert, and it would have been a shame to have given it a miss, as they all look so good.
I understand that when it came to creating the new dessert menu, Ollie and his team started with one ingredient, the English strawberry. This then formed the basis for OXBO’s star seasonal pudding, a light Olive Oil Cake with honey and white chocolate mousse, strawberry crémeux with strawberry sorbet and compressed strawberries and honeycomb. However, I was drawn to the Lemongrass Crème Brûlée with fresh berries and crisp meringue, which was delicious, whilst my guest was tempted by the Dark Chocolate Caramel Slice with Jivara chocolate cream and a passion fruit sorbet, and which looked like a piece of art! Other tempting and naughty desserts include the vibrant Blackcurrant Bavarois with passion fruit sorbet from the dedicated vegan dessert menu.
Currently OXBO Bankside is only open for dinner every Tuesday to Friday from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, but it’s well worth a visit if you happen to be in the neighbourhood in need of a good restaurant. You’ll be sure to leave at the end of the evening well fed and with a smile on your face as both the food and service are excellent.
OXBO Bankside, Hilton London Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk Street, London, SE1 0UG, England.
Tel: +44 (0)20 3667 5600
OXBO Bankside can be found inside the Hilton London Bankside, located between the Southbank and Borough Market. The closest Tube station is Southwark on the Jubilee line with both Waterloo and London Bridge stations a short walk away. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday to Friday from 6:00pm to 10:00pm and for their bottomless Brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Type of Restaurant: Modern British Restaurant in London’s Bankside
Price Band: Medium
Insider Tip: Arrive a little early and enjoy a seasonal cocktail from the Distillery Bar where the bar team will be happy to make your favourite tipple.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of OXBO Bankside and by Simon Burrell