Leanne Kelsall enjoys British classics with a creative twist at Bankside’s newest neighbourhood eatery: OXBO
OXBO is certainly selling something different, as part of the Hilton London Bankside which opened late last year. If you’re a foodie in search of laid-back luxury, Bankside has plenty to choose from, including Union Street Café, Hixter and Oblix at the Shard. It’s OXBO’s mission to win them over.
And OXBO’s Executive Chef Paul Bates is doing just that, with his unique take on much-loved British dishes. Diners can enjoy classics like beef tartar, Cornish monkfish and various cuts of steak, with the addition of colourful spices and garnishes inspired by Paul’s world travels.
He sources his the top-quality ingredients in his inventive menu through farmers and fishermen he knows well. Only the freshest, finest meat and veg make it into Paul’s kitchen, and he’s also known to swing by Borough market to stock up his favourite spices.
The focus on premium produce was evident in the food we enjoyed at OXBO. We chose seafood to start. Both the Brixham Squid (£10) and Scallops (£12) were perfectly cleaned and cooked – and brought-to-life with vibrant additions like chilli, samphire and avocado.
My main came in the form of tender duck breast (£22) with artichoke purée, a sticky mandarin jus and a side of sweet potato crisps. My guest’s shoulder of lamb (£21) was slow-cooked to perfection and accompanied by lentils, sweetbreads, pumpkin and soybeans, which added a sweet and nutty flavour.
Raspberry “Crème Brûlée” (£7) – which by the way, is in quotation marks because it has been recreated to fit a larger bowl – featured dramatic shards of caramel vertically atop a sugar-crusted custard. I did miss the novelty of cracking through a Brûlée’s blowtorched topping but OXBO’s tangy raspberry version was refreshingly new.
The Lemon Tart meringue with blueberry ganache (£7) was beautifully presented. Blueberries and petals were dotted around the plate, along with delicately piped meringue pieces and a scattered crumble topping.
To drink, OXBO’s multi-regional wine has just about anyone’s tastes covered. There’s also a huge range of spirits, with a focus on specially infused gins, Prosecco-based cocktails and pre-mixed Pimm’s.
OXBO’s distinctive décor is a real conversation-starter, which will come in handy if you’re on a first date. The large, bright restaurant is filled with eye-catching accessories, like reprocessed tube station tiles and sculptures. The overall theme is cool and industrial – the perfect match for OXBO’s urban surroundings. There’s also a large open-air kitchen adding a theatrical element to evening’s proceedings.
With its exciting, all-day menu, quirky interiors and relaxed atmosphere, OXBO is a must-visit next time you fancy a bite to eat on London’s Bankside.
OXBO Bankside – Where and How
OXBO Bankside is located at Hilton London Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk Street, London, SE1 0UG, United Kingdom. For more information or to make a booking, visit www.londonbankside.hilton.com or call 020 3667 5600.
See more of OXBO Bankside in the gallery below