When summer hits London in all its glory, it’s time to enjoy alfresco drinking and dining opportunities, which means I’m on the hunt for terraces and courtyards across town. And have I got a terrace for you today. We’re in the City of London on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower. A glass lift on the side of the building whisks you up to SushiSamba, a bit too rapidly for my liking, but I manned up and actually enjoyed it on the way down.
SushiSamba is the highest restaurant terrace in Europe with fabulous views across London Town. You’re looking straight at the Gherkin (or the Pickle as my nephew Zak calls it) and the Cheesegrater. Love the food themes in London’s skyline. You can also see beautiful Tower Bridge and the Tower of London down below.
The interior is modern and shiny with fabulous lighting and floor to ceiling glass to help make the most of the views.
And then there’s the food – a combination of Japanese, Brazilian (hence the Sushi and the Samba) and Peruvian food. Sound exotic enough? The menu is pretty mind boggling with a combo of small and large plates and sushi rolls to choose from. We went for it and ordered a variety of dishes which our waiter managed to serve up in an order that worked. All dishes got put in the middle of the table for sharing.
These crispy taquitos were up first, stuffed with plenty of yellowtail, avocado and roasted corn miso. Light, crunchy and fresh, I could eat a whole plateful of these. Good start!
Substantial shrimp tempura was served with snap pea julienne, spicy mayo and black truffle vinaigrette. Plump, juicy shrimps smothered in spicy mayo…perfect.
My delight in pork belly continues with this kuromitsu glazed pork belly, palmito, orange and pickled onion. Such a wonderful combo of flavours and textures, beautifully presented and melt-in-the-mouth.
Salt and pepper squid was created with dry miso, shichmi, sea salt, crispy garlic and smoked soya. Light and tender with just the right crispiness.
Chicken doesn’t get much more exotic than this. The poussin teriyaki came with Japanese-style yogurt and yuzu kosho. Packed with flavour and melt-in-the mouth with the creaminess of the mayo to dip into.
As a somewhat carniverous family we had to tuck into one of the meat platters. We chose the Churrasco Rio Grande, a combination of rib-eye, chorizo and aged picanha, served with a selection of sauces. It was delicious. If you really feel like pushing the boat out you could go for the Kobe beef Ishiyaka, 1kg of steak with a hot stone and dipping sauces – I mean really pushing the boat out, it costs £1,000.
There’s also a range of Samba rolls for sushi lovers. We ordered a platter with two varieties: Tokyo Sky Tree spicy big eye tuna tempura crunch, lotus root, aji panca and spicy mayo and the Tiger Maki takawan wasabi tobiko, crab meat, tempura prawn, tiger prawn, wasabi mayo and beetroot yogurt. Sounds like a lot of ingredients – just believe that they work perfectly together and look and taste wonderful.
Here’s a view of the beautifully modern, light-filled interior.
And here’s the view past the Gherkin down towards the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
There’s also a fabulous outside bar which gets extremely packed with glamorous Londoners on balmy summer nights. Just perfect!
SushiSamba is at 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2 in the heart of the City of London.