The Mondrian Hotel sits sandwiched between the OXO Tower and Blackfriars Bridge. It is identifiable by large blue illuminated letters spelling out Sea Containers on top of the building, which shine out across the Thames. Nestled below the many luxurious boutique rooms of the hotel is their ground floor Sea Containers restaurant, of which we were about to explore....
The decor of the restaurant has been inspired by the Golden Age of transatlantic travel under the creative direction of visionary Tom Dixon (who’s beautiful interior products can even be bought in the homewares section of Selfridges). The open kitchen is bright, exposing the chefs and their hard work to anyone sat at a table towards the back of the room. Those sat at the front have views out onto the Southbank path which winds alongside the river. As you walk into the restaurant via the river, your eyes are drawn to the gorgeous industrial style copper work that stretches over the back entrance and over the opening to the bathrooms. There is a nautical theme with a subtle elegance interspersed throughout the large room which has a relaxed ambiance complemented with soft, warm lighting.
The Food and Drink
On our Friday night visit, my friend and I chose to start our meal with the £50 Seafood Platter consisting of creamy, perfectly shucked oysters with a mignonette dressing, delicately dressed crab, a fresh brill ceviche, succulent scallops in a tangy, fresh ginger and chilli marinade with crisp shallot rings and langoustines with a mary rose sauce. Every element was divine - fresh, with their own unique flavours and textures.
For our main course we continued the sharing theme and opted for the Double Cut Heritage Pork Chop for £42. It came with what looked like a giant prawn cracker but was in fact a very large piece of puffed crackling, as well as a pot of chunky grilled apple sauce. The pork was juicy and thinly sliced (which made sharing all the easier) and on the side we ordered a portion of triple cooked chips with a pot of creamy homemade mayonnaise (£5) and a Chorizo and Mozzarella flatbread (£13) - don’t be fooled, this is essentially a very thinly based yet large pizza, and it’s gorgeous. For pudding the choices were plenty, but on the recommendation of our waitress I had to choose the Banana & Passionfruit Cheesecake (£9) which arrived presented in a way that just screamed for it to be Instagrammed - a colourful, elegant plate of food which tasted like a Caribbean holiday - creamy and sweet, with a sharpness that makes your lips pucker and your mouth water.
A few words about the drinks - to prepare for Christmas i’m avoiding alcohol this month and so enjoyed the selection of non alcoholic cocktails, including the Pom Beat (£6.50); a colourful tall glass of pomegranate, beetroot & tomato which was sweet and tasted like health, and a Mixed Berry Virgin Mojito which was refreshing and fruity. My friend on the other hand treated himself to the Chica-Cherry Old Fashioned, the Sea Containers take on the classic with a slightly more mellow, smooth flavour (£14.50).
While the food, drink and even the ambiance of this restaurant were superb, the highlight of our evening was the quality of the service we received. If you are lucky enough to have Shareefa as your waitress then you are in for a wonderful evening - she was attentive, friendly, constantly smiling and incredibly knowledgeable of the menu. She really elevated the dining experience, which was already onto a winner with the fantastic food and enjoyable surroundings.