Peter Morrell goes back to this Bankside eaterie for Sunday lunch and finds it just as good as a year ago
Lovers of culture and cuisine continueto watched with pleasure at the unstoppable rise of attractions and amenities on London’s Southbank.
After a very rewarding Sunday morning wandering around Tate Modern it was time for lunch. A five minute walk from the gallery is OXBO, a restaurant we reviewed about a year ago. It is located in the stylishly decorated Hilton Bankside hotel. This sophisticated theme extends into the restaurant, well spaced tables sit in a large, light dining space with floor to ceiling windows along one side.
The staff are charming and we were soon settled into our seats, listening to the relaxing music of the singer/guitarist. News of OXBO has obviously been spreading as there was a stream of diners arriving which gave the atmosphere a lively buzz.
The format for the Sunday lunch is a buffet style service for starters and desserts together with a choice of four main course dishes – roasted sirloin of Gloucestershire beef served with duck fat roast potatoes and Yorkshire, Josper roasted cod with curly kale and parmentier potatoes, Thanet cauliflower, brocolli, lentil dhalsweet potato and garlic flat bread and Josper grilled corn fed chicken served with duck fat roast potatoes and gravy.
My wife and I headed off to the buffet which featured just about every starter I like. There was a whole range of dishes including smoked salmon, swordfish and red onion ceviches, potted crab and shrimps, sashimi of tuna, salmon and swordfish, tiger prawns lime chilli aji, gin andl lime marinated halibut, Iberico chorizo, Oxsprings English proscuito, pickles and mustard, peppered beef pastrami, aromatic chicken mayonnaise with coconut and mango and smoked duck breast with lychee salsa. They were all delicious, we particularly liked the ceviche and the tiger prawns with lime and chilli.
We had both chosen the roast beef for the main which is served at your table. Two very large slices of rare meat, potatoes roasted in duck fat, fresh seasonal vegetables and a massive, pillowy Yorkshire pudding, all covered in a rich gravy. It was the archetypal English Sunday lunch, the potatoes were crunchy, the vegetables tasty, the Yorkshire pud crispy and the beef had a melt in the mouth tenderness and a superb flavour
For our wine match we chose the red Casa Albali, a tempranillo/shiraz blend from Valdepeñas, Spain. The tempranillo gave the plummy, stone fruit notes in the bouquet while the shiraz provided a good spicy palate with the combination of the two leaving a strong and persistent finish.
The wine list was very comprehensive with representation from both the old and new worlds. There were lots of aromatic whites – sauvignon blanc, verdejo and gavi. The reds offered robust grape varieties – carmenère, malbec, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and more. Our wine was at the entry level of £23,there are more expensive options if you want to mark a special occasion. For lighter drinkers there is a selection of wines available by the glass or carafe.
It was time for pudding and like the starters the buffet table was groaning with goodies. There was chocolate torte, almond bakewell tart. mini English sherry trifles, coffee and walnut cupcakes, raspberry vacherins, chocolate profiteroles, baby lemon merinuge pies and strawberry crème brûlèe. All the things we had were excellent
If your taste is more savoury than sweet then there is a board of cheeses from the British Isles, this included Cornish Brie, Red Leicester, Quickes Mature Cheddar, Garlic Leaf Yarg and my favourite, Cashel Blue from Ireland.
This was still a memorable Sunday lunch experience and just as good as our last visit. We loved the range and quality of food which was outstanding, the charming staff and the relaxed and comfortable ambience. OXBO is a worthy addition to the culinary scene on the Southbank
It was remarkably good value for money, the meal was a fixed price of £28pp. You can upgrade to the ‘Bottomless Prosecco’ package for £12pp, a good alternative to buying a bottle of wine.
Just one word of warning, if there are more than just two of you I would strongly recommend that you book as it is extremely popular.
OXBO is also open for breakfast and dinner, and at lunch times other than Sunday.
at the Hilton London Bankside,
2-8 Great Suffolk Street,
London SE1 0UG
0207 5933 900