History and Background: Aqua Shard, is part of the Hong Kong based company Aqua Group, also owning Hutong, (both Hong Kong and London), Aqua Kyoto, and Aqua Nueva. Serving British cuisine half way up The Shard at what is western Europe’s tallest building, it’s floor-to-ceiling windows allows it to offer a spectacular 360 degree view of London.
The Shard is a relatively new structure, completed in 2012 and opened in February 2013. Aqua Shard opened mid June 2013. The restaurant, very contemporary, with the interior – plain, but somewhat distinguishably British, and the dim-lit lights subtly gives it the finishing touch for a cosmopolitan and modern feel.
This is my second visit to Aqua Shard, and the first one turned out to be pretty disappointing, I was left very unimpressed. However, the menu has considerably changed since my last visit, and surpassed my low expectations for this place. A meal intended to celebrate Christmas and New Years with my family came out to be a meal well spent!We had 3 toppings of the free house bread, couldn’t get my hands off of them…
Slow poached veal fillet consisted of tuna mousse, bone marrow, elderflower and caper vinaigrette. Real Cornish crab salad consisted of red pepper, chives, shallot, bull’s blood micro-cress, cucumber & vallee de Baux olive oil emulsion. The appetisers were nothing special, and soon forgotten to be honest. Not to mention the tiny portion sizes. (My photos are usually zoomed in, a lot.)
The very dim-lit restaurant seriously influenced the lighting on my photos… so please excuse me while I head to the washroom to cry.
The mains were much more satisfactory, although the lamb was a bit too rare, it was enjoyable, tender and succulent. The best main would probably be the sirloin steak, so many juices, and so very meaty… I’m dribbling. I always find that it is the desserts that steal the show, so without further ado, please see below for the dazzling display of food porn!
The desserts here are to die for. Melted chocolate just oozes out once you break the outer lining of the souffle. David’s mess has you pining for more with the combination of guava sorbet, chantilly and rasberry. Yule log, and Christmas Pudding, the season specials are strongly recommended too!
Service: Upon arrival, and when you’re taken to your seat – it’s great, but whilst you’re sat down it can be a bit slow to get their attention. 12.5% service charge.
Bits and bobs:
- All window seats are two seaters, if you want a window seat then strongly advise you to go with only one other person
- Surprisingly loud background music, but this is probably due to the bar area rather than from the restaurant
- Bookings strongly recommended, or that you can just turn up to the bar, but expect queues
- Take a visit to the washrooms, they have good views there too…