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SEE ALTERNATIVE Pan-Asian Cuisine
Normally, there is something a little depressing about walking through a hotel lobby to get to your restaurant, but when it is on the 23rd floor of the Hilton Metropole, with a view over 20 miles of London, somehow it doesn?t seem to matter so much. This is a truly gorgeous restaurant, approached by a short, but vertiginous staircase offering a good view (through plate glass) of the hundred-foot drop beneath - the City, the London Eye, planes taking off from City Airport and all the rest. A comfortable bar and a subtly Japanese d?cor add to the atmosphere, but with such a superb view, it would hardly matter if it looked like a Clerkenwell chip shop. The sushi was a particular highlight, with texture provided by seriously sticky rice, while the perfectly cut fish just melted away in the mouth. The addition of a blob of pesto to the Salmon Nigri was a particularly neat touch, perfectly off-setting the firey wasabi. Our main courses were a little unimaginative, but made up for this by having fantastic ingredients, in particular some marinated squid without even a hint of rubber, and langoustines that tasted like they?d hardly left the sea.
The menu covers cuisines from Japan, China and South-East Asia, offering ethnic standards - sushi, Thai green curry, stir fried beef, sweet duck with soy dressing - rather than fusion food. Fortunately, it does these simple things extremely well and the lack of pretension has allowed them to put a mid-price restaurant in these truly magnificent surroundings. Frankly, even if this was a branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken, I?d happily pay these prices for a Zinger Tower Burger just to sit and watch the view. Magical.
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