Heron Tower was completed in 2011, and dominates the Bishopsgate skyline along with St Mary’s Axe, aka The Gherkin. After gawking at the AMAZING fish tank in the lobby for a few minutes, we snuck into the small entrance to the side and shot up to the 40th floor (2 above the swanky Sushi Samba) in the outward facing glass lift, so fast our ears popped repeatedly.
I used to work in a pretty culinary-forsaken corner of London called Holloway. Apart from the few excellent – and cheap – Turkish restaurants and bakeries, it was a sea of scary looking greasy spoon caffs. Because of this (and the generally grotty feeling after eating kebabs and greasy gozleme every day) I often found myself trekking down to Upper Street in Angel for something different.
Just 15 years ago, I would have declared Brits the kings of queuing. I remember waiting for a bus to school in the morning, and a good 50 strong single file of commuters quietly snaking down the road. Nowadays, it’s more like a rugby scrum trying to board, God have mercy on people trying to disembark. In the past few years, queuing has gone through a renaissance, thanks to trendy no reservations restaurants luring hipsters in like 2-4-1 skinny jeans.
What a miserable day it is. It was raining when I went to bed, raining when I woke up and was still raining when it got to lunch time. Normally in these circumstances, it would mean a trip up to the staff canteen for a bland sandwich / miniscule “subsidised” [insert protein] and [insert carb] dish. The breakfasts they serve are great, but the lunches are so depressing.
As is almost universal for everyone in London as we enter December, 95% of my calendar inevitably gives way to a slew of Christmas lunches with various teams and clients. It is for this very reason that I have been a bit quiet on the review front for the past week – it’s hard to rate restaurants when everything is pre-ordered and pre-paid for, no idea what we’ve ordered or what has been paid.
A quick disclaimer: this place is nowhere near the city, and I went for dinner not lunch, but whatever you smart arses – you’ll understand why I wrote about it when you go there.
Rave reviews for City Càphê populate pretty much every restaurant listings website there is. Not so many years ago, to get a steaming bowl of pho you had to go to Kingsland Road – home of London’s most famous collection of Vietnamese restaurants. It seems now though, that the rest of the city is starting to realise how brilliant a cuisine it is, with restaurants popping up all over the place. If you have never tried Vietnamese food, think Chinese food but with less oil, stacks of herbs, and a French influence.