Thursday, 18 July 2013

Waterside, Alfresco, Pop-Up, Whisky-Inspired Menu With Views Of Tower Bridge: The Pictorial

Fluid London’s Christian Rose-Day checks out a special short term whisky and food menu at one of London’s best riverside restaurants. 

So last night we had the pleasure of attending Le Pont de la Tour French restaurant in Shad Thames, which I have reviewed on a previous occasion and loved on that previous occasion. This time we were visiting to sample a special whisky inspired food menu.

The John Walker and Sons Voyager 1920s style luxury yacht (pictured above) is in town very briefly on its non-stop world tour before it heads up to Edinburgh. To celebrate the occasion, Le Pont de la Tour and Johnnie Walker whisky have devised a menu that pairs food and whisky which can be enjoyed for only a short time period from now until Sunday 21st July.

The menu is 3 courses for £45, which includes a dram of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label with dessert. For those who a little nervous around whisky, this is the best option because the final pairing of the Blue Label whisky with the dark chocolate mousse cigar was definitely our favourite.

We actually opted for the £75 version of the menu which also included a dram of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve with the cured organic salmon starter, and a dram if Johnnie Walker Platinum Label with the roasted Yorkshire duck breast a l’orange, and a pre-dinner cocktail. This is the option true whisky fans will want to take and is, as Colin Dunn, Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador (cool job!), told us, is “whisky in HD.”

The JOHN WALKER And SONS VOYAGER limited editoion menu at Le Pont de la Tour
Starter
“JOHNNIE WALKER PLATINUM LABEL” CURED ORGANIC SALMON, POTATO BLINIS, CRÈME FRAICHE, HERB SALAD

Main
ROASTED YORKSHIRE DUCK BREAST A L’ORANGE, CONFIT LEG, BRAISED PUY LENTILS

Dessert
“JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD LABEL RESERVE” DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE “CIGAR”
Served with a dram of JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD LABEL RESERVE

TEA AND COFFEE and PETIT FOURS


Book a table using the reservations calendar below.
The flowers that border the alfresco terrace outside the restaurant; whilst inside off in the distance a live pianist can be heard offering his classical rendition of Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky'.

A refreshing Johnnie Walker and elderflower, citrus pre-dinner cocktail. There were only notes of whisky, the citrus calming the darker liquid quite easily. A debate started across our table about whether whisky before your meal is a good thing. It's always good to hear both sides of the argument. We called that one a draw.

The salmon blini starter. Colin Dunn, Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador, came to the table to tell us about some of his favourite whisky and food pairings, unbiasedly so, and then explained that, in this instance, how popping the cured organic salmon blinis in the mouth, then part macerating, holding on the tongue, and then adding a dribble of the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, helps to bring out the top notes of the fatty salmon flesh. Thanks Colin.
You only need a little dribble. Do not take a big swig otherwise it will overpower your salmon or your duck.

The Platinum Label Johnnie Walker whisky was slightly easier on the palette, with the main of roasted Yorkshire Duck Breast a l’orange with crispy skin.

There's that view once again, this time with the bridge beginning to raise for a giant cruise ship being tugged back out to sea. Just to the left is the pop-up Johnnie Walker bar which was surrounded by posh glamourous folk. The 3 masts you can see in the centre of the picture belong to the John Walker and Sons Voyager 1920s style luxury yacht. The GM of the restaurant also told us about the plans to install a winter screen so that it will be possible to dine alfresco 365 days of the year on the terrace.

This was our favourite of all the food and whisky pairings: Dark chocolate mousse ‘cigar’ with Johnnie Walker Blue Label. The whisky seemed to be placated somewhat in the presence of such strong chocolate flavours, three types of.

 Over coffee and petit fours, the 2nd debate of the evening raged: is wine with dinner a better option than whisky with dinner. General consensus: yes, but then if you are a whisky lover, there’s nothing at all wrong with the stronger liquid with your food. 

If you don’t like whisky, Le Pont de la Tour is still a class restaurant and will have dishes and wines to match your tastes.



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