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Reviews of Aqua Shard

St Thomas Street, London SE1


Some reviews on this page may refer to a previous operator of the same premises.
Not bad but not great either. 3/5
I went yesterday and had the brunch menu. I had been to 'Hutong' which was fantastic so I was hoping for something similar.

Sadly it wasn't. When we arrived the staff took our coats and asked us to wait in the lounge until our booking slot, which we didn't mind as the views are great. However nobody came to take our order for drinks until I got up and asked after waiting 10 minutes. And then a very surly chap in a blue jacket and very long moustache came up and stood by us and didn't utter a word, refused to look at us and then when we looked at him barked "drinks!" He then took another 10 minutes to return with the wine, served us without uttering a singke word and then marched off, utterly devoid if charm and very hilarious, poor chap, given that he works in the service industry I felt sorry for him. He clearly didn't want to be there so work and it must be terrible to be so unhappy at work.

Anyway, we got our seats with a lovely view of London. I know that one pays a premium to eat in a place like this but the food wasn't great, not bad but not worth the 200 for three we paid (inc 20 tip). Nicely presented food and staff were more charming when seated but the looked overworked and understaffed. For the starter I had the six oyster which came with a very nice onion and tabasco jus. But for the mains it was the equivalent of a pub lunch (roast beef dinner) that was just a bit bland, no twist and certainly not fine dining. The portion was small and the yorkshire pudding rubbery. The desert was a perfectly fine bakewell tart with a single small scoop of ice cream.

The menu at the weekend is fixed, either a two or three course brunch with a cocktail. Basically fifty pounds for three course and forty for the 2 course. But no coffee inc and when you add a pre lunch drink the prices start to shoot up quicker than the escalator to the 32nd floor!

If they kept the price to 150 for three for a three course inc cocktail and a coffee at the end then I could accept it, given that you do have spectacular views. But for the extra fifty I felt that I was paying a premium for the view and not much else.

If you want to eat at the Shard then try Hutong, one floor up, that was exceptional and cost 160 for two (drinks and tip inc), a tad more than Aqua but truly fine dining and exceptional service.

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Food & drink