Not many London restaurants can boast a view as spectacular as the one you get from the city’s highest brasserie, Darwin Brasserie located on the 36th floor of the Sky Garden. A few weeks ago I visited the restaurant for a Sunday lunch with my friend Mike (@qmike) and to sample their new summer brunch menu.
It wasn’t my first time dining at Darwin Brasserie, in fact I have already blogged about this place last year when I had breakfast there with my parents. Compared to my previous visit, the landscaped gardens now look really lush and beautiful, whereas before the plants were still a little sparse.
When it first opened, Darwin Brasserie offered a breakfast menu until 11am on weekends, but recently it has launched a brunch menu available on Sundays until 4.30pm.
The new menu – created by head chef Arnaud Delannay – is divided into four sections: brunch, starters, mains, desserts. As part of the brunch offer there are five egg dishes to choose from, including classics like Full English Breakfast and Eggs Benedict. Diners can choose to pair the brunch dish with bottomless Bloody Marys (£9.50) or free-flowing Prosecco (£15.50).
We decided to skip the traditional brunch dishes and instead order three courses from the lunch menu. We started with two seasonal salads to share; both were packed with flavours and really delicious.
The main courses all sounded appealing: from sweet potato gnocchi to butter poached sea trout; from rump of Cornish lamb to a traditional Sunday Roast. We couldn’t resist trying the Confit Duck Burger with Truffled Duck Egg in a toasted seeded bun with red cabbage ketchup and fries. After the first bite, I was glad I ordered it!
Not a dish for the faint-hearted (to be honest it’s so big, I wasn’t able to finish it), but it was nonetheless scrumptious.
In addition to the bottomless drinks and new summer dishes, Darwin Brasserie also launched a series of freakshakes. If you have never heard this word, I am referring to the freaky milkshakes that are all over Instagram. Topped with cakes and candies of all shapes and forms, they pack more calories in a glass than an adult should eat in a whole day.
The freakshakes at Darwin Brasserie are served with either a doughnut (freak dough), a chocolate brownie (choco freak) or raspberry macaroons (freakin’ macaroons). I was very curious to taste them, but honestly I found them too sweet and not really my thing. In my opinion, freakshakes are great as an afternoon treat (to share), but don’t pair well with brunch dishes.
We left the freakshakes aside and ordered one dessert to share, the Passionfruit and Coconut Tart. The pastry was perfectly baked and the pairing of tropical fruits worked nicely, with a refreshing side of fresh fruit and coconut sorbet. I loved this dessert!
Overall I was very impressed by the food at Darwin Brasserie and I would definitely recommend the restaurant. The service and ambience are lovely, and so are the views. Prices for starters and main courses are a bit dear, as you can expect from a sky-high restaurant. However if you limit yourself to one brunch dish and bottomless Bloody Mary, your bill (including service) will be around £25 which is not too bad at all.
After lunch Mike and I had a tour of the garden, including the indoor terrace on the 37th floor and the outdoor balcony with unparalleled views of the river Thames and the Southbank. I could spend hours at the Sky Garden, just watching the people moving across the hall and watching London from above.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Darwin Brasserie. All opinions are my own.