Banyan on the Thames
Banyan on the Thames presents a well-judged blend of Oriental opulence and muted modern tones. The restaurant boasts stunning riverside views through the floor-to-ceiling windows, providing the ultimate visual accompaniment to your meal, from the morning joggers you see whilst tucking into juice and fresh pastries for breakfast, to the lights of the occasional helicopter touching down on the nearby helipad whilst you're sipping cocktails as night falls.
The menu is a mix of Asian and European flavours, all delivered with a precision and flair that denote fine dining before you've even taken a bite. Start with sweet and sticky sesame-glazed quail, crispy king prawn salad, or salty spiced tilapia fishcakes with a chilli and lemongrass sauce. Then, move smoothly on to such delicious main courses as duck breast with raspberry sauce and caramelised mango, strips of tender beef in an aromatic chilli sauce, or fish and chips Banyan style, where the usual flaky cod in soggy batter is replaced with juicy monkfish in light and crispy tempura. If you're feeling overwhelmed by choice, the friendly staff are happy to give recommendations. For those with a sweet tooth, my personal recommendation has to be the - albeit slightly alarmingly titled - cheese mousse with toffee and whisky sauce. This was a truly magnificent dessert, mixing creamy and light cheese mousse with crunchy cinnamon, thick and sweet toffee and just the faintest kick of whisky at the back of the mouth. A curious combination, but one that really works fantastically.
After your meal, relax on the roof terrace and indulge in a cigar or a puff on a beautiful shisha whilst watching the boats come and go on the river - a glittering end to a five-star dining experience.