Rhodes 24

Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, England, EC2N 1HQ, United Kingdom

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Editor's note. This restaurant will cease trading in September 2013 and be replaced in due course by a Jason Atherton restaurant.The notes below will then be of purely historical interest.

Rhodes 24 refers to its location on the 24th floor of Tower 42 in the City. You have to go through a security scanner to enter the building, but fortunately that is the last resemblance to an airport experience that you will have. The bar and dining room have spectacular views out over London from their lofty perch. Tables were generously spaced, with some tables at the back slightly elevated so that they can also enjoy the view.

The menu is British and quite conventional, which is not a criticism. Starters were priced at £9.80 - £17.50, main courses £16.50 to £31 (but no extra charges for vegetables), and desserts £8.95 to £11.75. There are no lunch time concessions, since in the City the lunch time is a prime time for business diners. Chef Adam Gray has been here since the inception of the restaurant in 2003, gaining a Michelin star in 2005. Adam had worked previously at Le Manoir au Quat’ Saisons, and prior to that at the Four Seasons from 1989 to 1992, when Bruno Loubet was head chef there.

The wine list is quite extensive, though its mark-ups are geared for City clients. Mountadam Chardonnay 2008 was £32 for a wine that you can buy retail for around £8, Catena Alta Mendoza 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon cost £85 for a wine that you can purchase in the shops for £21, Patrick Jasmin Cote Rotie 1998 was £134 for a wine with a retail price of £40, while at the upper end of the list Chateau Palmer 1989 was £350 for a wine that will set you back £219 in the shops. Breads were made from scratch and were a choice of white or brown rolls, served warm; these had pleasant texture (15/20).

My starter was scallop raviolo with buttered samphire and roast scallop sauce. The pasta had good texture and the scallops were nicely cooked, while the samphire was excellent; I found the scallop sauce a little bland, but this was a very pleasant dish (15/20). I enjoyed my main course of chicken resting on a bed of sage and onion hash with creamed peas.  The free range chicken was carefully cooked, the pea puree had excellent flavour, carrots on the side were tender and the dish was well seasoned; for me the jus could have been more intense in flavour but this is a minor quibble - it was a very good dish indeed (16/20).

Vanilla cream with rhubarb had a layer of rhubarb jelly at the bottom, resting in a pool with little cubes of rhubarb; this was a well-constructed dish, the rhubarb was not too acidic and the vanilla flavour came through nicely; the textures were also good, with the little cubes of rhubarb providing a firm contrast to the softmes of the vanilla cream (comfortably 15/20). Overall I felt this was between 15/20 and 16/20 level, and deserving of its Michelin star. You get a superb view, very capably cooked and enjoyable food, and the prices are not excessive, at least for the food; the wine list is another matter. The bill came to £57 per person for three courses, but this was with water only, and no wine or coffee.


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