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Food heaven at SKYLON

March 12, 2009

There are times when I eat food and I feel happy.

There are times when I eat food and I feel magical.
And then there are the rare times when I eat food and I feel like Barney in the Simpsons when he rediscovered alcohol.

Located within the Royal Festival Hall, Skylon offers a spectacular view along the Southbank. Dim lighting, amber glass and modern chandeliers provided a wonderfully relaxed eating environment. If Willy Wonka owned a restaurant then this would be it.

To start I ordered the ‘Pumpkin’, a pumpkin veloute with goat cheese beignet and onion crisp. A simple nugget of goat cheese sat in the middle of a bowl and at the table a thick, vibrant orange pumpkin sauce was poured on. As I dug in to the goat cheese its creamy white centre poured out into the perfectly seasoned pumpkin. The sweetness of the pumpkin combined with the sour bursts of cheese were delightful.

For my main I ordered ‘Rabbit’; sauteed rabbit loin and leg with salsify, polenta and a salad of crispy shoulder and mache. I hadn’t had rabbit since I was a child, and would always be served in a rich tomato sauce with lots of spaghetti (another Maltese Grannie favourite). The dish was presented beautifully, with each part of the rabbit laid out in a way that made me want to eat it even more.

This dish deserves to be broken down and admired. The polenta was the creamiest I had ever tasted, the rabbit was soft and seemed to be endless, but the star was the salsify. I knew what it was, but as yet had not tried it. The only way to describe it is take the yummiest, sweetest roasted parsnips you can find and then times that by ten – just magical. The crispy shoulder of rabbit was the poshest ‘scratchings’ I had ever eaten, and they were heavenly.

My final course was a chocolate torte with cherry and a sorbet which was magical. What I loved was that when I order it I was kindly told “You will have to wait ten minutes for this to be made, is that ok?” Of course it was ok! If the rest of my meal was anything to go by I would have waited all year for my desert. Every mouthful was absolutely divine, and when it ended I pouted my bottom lip out further than I ever thought possible.

Throughout the meal we were given various amuse-bouche. To a perfect tomato based soup, which was served in what can only be described as the smallest fish bowls in the world, to a mixture of truffle and goats cheese which was incredibly earthy and honest, every moment was exciting.

As it was my 30th birthday, I was presented with a plate which had “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate with a candle and several petits fours, which included spongy nougat and the best chocolate truffle I have ever eaten, ever.

The experience was wonderful, and although it cost more than I would normally spend, this is a restaurant that I would highly recommend. You aren’t just paying for the food (and amazing cocktails) you are paying for the experience, and after three hours I truly felt like I had the most amazing experience.

My partner and I dined from the A La Carte menu. At £37.50 for two courses and £42.50 for three, this isn’t the cheapest of meals, but I wouldn’t think twice about going back.

Skylon – Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Tel: 020 7654 7800
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