OXO Tower

Meal courtesy of OXO – Harvey Nichols 

Written by Vicky Dalton-Banks

Afternoon Tea at the OXO Tower, South Bank 7I love an afternoon teas. However, it is a saturated market and it’s hard to stand out; there are numerous different menus on offer all over London and it can be hard to know which are worth your well earned cake hours. I recently tried the afternoon tea at the OXO Tower Restaurant and I think this is definitely one you need to add to your list!

In all my years of living in London, I can’t believe this was my first visit to the OXO Tower. Walking along the South Bank on a sunny day is a delight, and after finding our way to the tower we took the lift up to the restaurant. Offering panoramic views of London’s skyline, the bright and airy restaurant is a great spot to enjoy an afternoon of indulgence!

Sometimes restaurants like the OXO Tower, where there are beautiful views of London or, like at others where the most beautiful of settings lure you in, the food can end up being pretty average. Well that is most certainly not the case here – the menu includes interesting flavours and beautiful, delicious food.

The Food
We started with a glass of champagne and toasted to the beginning of Spring! The views from the restaurant are stunning, and offer a great perspective of The City with St Paul’s being a big feature of the view.

First come the savouries with five different and delicate looking finger sandwiches. At one end is cucumber and anchovy on beetroot bread and at the other is smoked salmon, dill and crème fraîche on rye bread, almost creating a rainbow effect of breads! There is also egg and cress on onion bread; ham, watercress and mustard on English farmhouse and finally a cheese and chutney sandwich on tomato bread.

Afternoon Tea at the OXO Tower, South Bank 2

I thought the range of breads worked really well. They were paired perfectly with their fillings and made each one interesting to taste.

There was also a selection of delightful little savoury bites. My two favourites were the mini Yorkshire puddings filled with beef and horseradish and the Dorset crab choux buns. They were so light! The smoked salmon Scotch quail egg didn’t really work for me, it was just too rich.

After a little break from the food to finish our bubbles, a beautiful assortment of sweet treats arrived with our teas.

Mini Bakewell tarts, dark chocolate mousses and pots of lemon posset came alongside the fluffiest and lightest scones I can ever remember having!

The lemon posset was fresh and very slightly tart but a touch too creamy with all the other treats out in front of me. The Valrhona mousse was rich and decadent whilst being light as a feather.Afternoon Tea at the OXO Tower, South Bank

I have to go back to the scones, after all these are the backbone of any afternoon tea! They really were so light and with just a touch of crumble and sweetness. I would go back for these alone. Pair this with glorious views of London from up high, it really is the perfect spot for Afternoon Tea in London.

Afternoon Tea at the OXO Tower, South Bank 6
I thoroughly enjoyed the Afternoon Tea at the OXO Tower restaurant. There is not a dry bit of bread in sight and the menu is built up with interesting flavours and the most perfect scones. And of course I can’t forget the views of London! All of this makes it a great option for afternoon tea in London.

The menu is served Monday to Saturday 3pm – 4.30pm and Sunday 3.15pm – 4.30pm. It’s £35 per person or £45 with a glass of Champagne.


Chinese Cricket Club – Dim Sum Masterclass

Courtesy of Chinese Cricket Club

Attended and written by Ed @onehungryasian and published by Steph

DSC_3665.JPGWe’re fans of Chinese Cricket Club here at Eat With Steph. We previously checked them out for their Chelsea Flower Show menu, and they impressed us then with their fresh and flavour packed dishes, all presented beautifully and with a certain refined style similar to that you’d find at high end traditional Chinese restaurants.
I snapped up a chance to come back to take part in their dim sum masterclasses, especially as in the City area high quality Chinese restaurants (and especially dim sum ones) are hard to find!
We were presented with an introduction to Mailan, a dim sum master chef formerly from Hakkasan, who took us through how to make 3 classic dim sum items. First up was spring rolls, filled with freshly cooked vegetables and carefully rolled. Surprisingly easy to roll up once we’d learnt the technique from Mai. Next was chicken wontons, with their unique shape causing confusion amongst the group. And finally, the classic siu mai, which are served here with a scallop on top.
The chefs and Mailan are on hand to guide you through all the steps, and it’s a fun and hands on experience to introduce you to classic dim sum dishes, and earn your dinner!
We followed this up by dining on some of the head chef’s speciality dishes including the special crispy duck and pancakes and sea bass covered in a unique garlic and ginger sauce. But the absolute stand out dish for us was the belly pork, braised for 5 hours then thinly sliced over a portion of sticky rice. That pork was SO tender, it quite literally melted in my mouth. Somehow the plate of it ended up by me for the majority of the dinner…
dsc_3671All in all, Chinese Cricket Club offers some stand out Chinese dishes in the heart of the city, and the fresh dim sum here is worth making the trip for. Get some friends together, book it in for a client dinner, but make the effort to do the dim sum workshop and try out the food here at Chinese Cricket Club!
The next dim masterclass is on the 21st November, and tickets are £35 including a glass of prossecco on arrival, a workshop including 5 dishes, unlimited tea and a goodie bag when complete. 

Diciannove in The City

History and Background:

Meal courtesy of Diciannove

Located within The City, Diciannove Italian Restaurant is nestled within corporate surroundings, making it easily accessible for its main consumers, business men. I came on a bank holiday which meant the restaurant was noticeablely quiet even though the restaurant was situated in one of the best transportation hubs in London. (Blackfriars intersection.)

Head Chef Alessandro Bay leads the kitchen focusing on traditional and regional Italian food. The menu changes to adapt for seasonal produce, which most recently was invited for the Black Summer Truffle menu (available until 11 June).

Diciannove is most suited to corporate diners, locals or its hotel visitors as Blackfriars itself, unfortunately, is no attraction site.

The meal:

Black Summer Truffle Menu showcasing Diciannove’s use of truffle on its seasonal menu until 11 June 2016.

Diciannove (10 of 21)
Sliced bread with pan fried egg and black summer truffle £9.50

Delicate summer theme with the addition of edible flowers and loose leaf salad. The black summer truffle sprinkled on top was very aromatic and strong. If you love your truffle, you’ll love smelling this dish through and through. Plated at £9.50 seems a bit steep for sliced bread but you’re paying for the addition of good truffle too.

Diciannove (13 of 21)
Risotto with fresh peas, peas shoot and black summer truffles £11.50

This was my favourite of the evening, the antipasti course with sprinkled truffle over risotto. Slightly more salty than expected but there was pancetta hidden in and around the plate to add to the seasoning. What I liked about this course was that the risotto was well cooked, I find great variance in the way risotto is cooked at restaurants, sometimes too hard, too soft, or not cooked at all…but Diciannove knows what they’re doing.

Diciannove (19 of 21)
Roasted lemon sole with artichokes, new potatoes and lemon sauce £22.50

Daisy is a pescatarian and we did not know the main for the #BlackSummerTruffleMenu consisted of only steak, the waiter kindly offered more fish options and the lemon sole was chosen. It was slightly overcooked but the artichokes were very well cooked, the potatos and lemon sauce complemented the fish option to balance the dish out.

Diciannove (21 of 21)
Sirloin Steak, rocket salad and black summer truffle £26.50

I was pretty full at this stage but with the main, in typical Italian fashion, meat. Sirloin steak cooked very well medium rare and was a pretty large portion at that too. Unfortunately didn’t see the point in the summer truffle here as the sauce overpowered the truffle aroma but was a great dish overall. Would have preferred a bigger portion of the rocket salad to balance out the heaviness of the dish, otherwise great.

Price: ££
Square Meal

Chinese Cricket Club – Chelsea Flower Show Menu

History and Background:

Meal courtesy of Chinese Cricket Club

As part of the Crowne Plaza City Dining complex, Chinese Cricket Club established in 2009, has been home to a variety of clientele mainly business men and a thrive of City workers. Situated right opposite Blackfriars tube station and just off the bustling streets of Fleet Street, you’ll find a mix of modern and traditional Sichuan specialties under the Exec Chef Ken Wang. Sichuan is known for its strong flavours most notable spicy peppers, sesame and chilli.

Awarded an AA Rosette, Chinese Cricket Club (named after Chinese National Cricket team) is most known for their express set lunch menu for people working in The City.

The Chelsea Flower Show Menu showcases classic Chinese dishes influenced by edible flowers in light of the annual event and is available this week between 24 – 27 May only.

The meal: (Chelsea Flower Show Menu)

Chinese Cricket Club (4 of 23)
Prawn Dumpling £5.80
Chinese Cricket Club (6 of 23)
Chicken Dumpling £5.80

Starters consisted of classic chinese dimsum, with these carefully folded dumplings. Delicate and exquisitely presented, these pocket full of goodness were consumed very quickly indeed…

Chinese Cricket Club (11 of 23)
Scallop on shell with homemade chilli sauce £6.80

Testing your chilli factor here with their homemade sauce – the spicy element is a dominant theme in Sichuan dishes. We even used this sauce for the soft shell crab! The scallop itself was steamed or grilled simple. Soft.

Chinese Cricket Club (12 of 23)
Soft shell crab with almond butter sauce £12.80

A generous amount of soft shell crab serving, a dish prominent in Japanese restaurants but served Chinese style here. Almonds provide a nutty flavour, adding to the crunchy nature of the crab. Pomegranates added sweetness to the dish.

Chinese Cricket Club (16 of 23)
Flower Sea Bass in Sweet and Sour sauce £20.00

A variety of colours in the flower sea bass and is served in style. Sweet and Sour Chinese dishes tend to be more catered to the western audience and I’m always a bit hesitant in choosing these dishes from the menu. Nevertheless the dish was delectable, with plenty of sea bass within, covered by a thin layer of crispy batter. Not sure if pomegranate was needed at all here. The sweet and sour sauce itself overshadows the taste of any sort of pomegranate but I guess its great for the visuals!

Chinese Cricket Club (17 of 23)
Stir fried lobster with ginger and spring onion served on a bed of noodles £35.00

Lobster noodles are one of my favourite chinese dishes and something that can be hard to perfect.  Ginger and spring onion are classic additions bringing out the full and natural flavour of the lobster. Coriander leaves give further fragrance to an otherwise aromatic and meaty dish.

Enjoy your dinner with a refreshing cocktail and that’s your dinner well spent  at Chinese Cricket Club!

Chinese Cricket Club (23 of 23)
Some noodle action by Luxmmi

Service: 12.5% service charge

Price: ££


Square Meal

Chinese Cricket Club - Crowne Plaza London The City Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato