Searcys | The Gherkin

April 17, 2015

Searcys The Gherkin

London's current love-affair with high-rise dining doesn't seem to be slowing down. Not only do we have several new restaurants to explore (such as 20 Fenchurch Street), but now somewhere that has previously only been available as a private club is opening to the public for the summer.

 Standing 180m tall at 30 St Mary Axe, The Gherkin is one of London's most iconic landmarks. Occupying the top three floors of the building, Searcys provides private dinning rooms, a restaurant, members lounge and bar. 

Searcys The Gherkin view

If you haven't been able to wangle an invite up to Searcys before, they're putting on a special 10th anniversary 10 course tasting menu at £70 - as well as a 3 course a la carte (£35 at lunch, £45 at dinner) and a Sunday brunch menu. That brunch session will also have a station where you can mix up your own Bloody Mary.

 Having heard the restaurant was opening its doors to members of the public Russell and I decided to book the venue to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. 

Searcys The Gherkin view
Searcys The Gherkin viewSearcys The Gherkin view 

 Tables are released on a regular basis but get booked very quickly - you can view available dates here.

Occupying the top of The Gherkin, Searcys benefits from panoramic views of London, near-perfect food and a slick service.

As we were seated a trolley of champagne was wheeled to our table followed by a bread basket. I had read reviews before our visit that the service was slow, however we found the staff extremely welcoming and swift. 
 

Searcys The Gherkin foodSearcys The Gherkin food
Searcys The Gherkin food
We decided on the set menu, which is fantastic value at £45pp (excluding service charge). I must start by saying that the food at Searcys is some of the best we have tried - however, if you're looking for big portions, this place isn't for you. 

To start I ordered a chilled pea soup with hazelnuts, black olive and feta cheese. The dish was fresh, vibrant and flavoursome with the addition of the saltiness from the olives and crunch from the hazelnuts. 

 Searcys The Gherkin food

We both ordered the same main and dessert. Advised that the chef was cooking the pancetta wrapped beef medium rare we waited in anticipation. Having heard many other guests ordering the same, the dish featured hay smoked celeriac puree and black truffle. 

I can hand on heart say that if the meat was cooked medium rare as specified, it would have been one of the best dishes I've ever eaten - unfortunately, I was given one medium-well and one well-done slice.

However, this didn't overshadow the wow-factor of this dish. The onions were sweet, the sauce was rich and the celeriac gave a smooth finish to every mouthful.

Searcys The Gherkin foodGherkin roof


We ended the meal with a chocolate ganache, kumquat and sweet potato ice cream dessert and drinks at the bar on the 40th floor. 

 The sweet ganache contrasted beautifully to the sharp kumquat, and again textures were key to making this dish exceptional. 

The Gherkin may not be the tallest building in London, but it certainly has the best views. If you're looking for somewhere special to dine this year, I couldn't recommend Searcys more.