Your Ultimate Guide To Eating Out At London’s One Tower Bridge
I love food. I don’t think I’ve ever started an article with that, but, then again, that would be stating the obvious – everyone knows how much I love food and this whole website is an ode to my love of food – and all the other amazing writers I’ve roped into loving food with me! And while I eat out a lot (ok, all the time), it’s not often that my love of food fully comes to the surface. But on a recent foodie adventure in London – where I visited restaurant after restaurant – my love of food definitely found its full expression. See, I got to experience ALL the restaurants that form part of the One Tower Bridge area, enjoying everything from vegan goodies to Thai food to beautiful bubbles – you name it, I had it.
Welcome to One Tower Bridge
What exactly is One Tower Bridge? It’s best described as the riverside area directly next to Tower Bridge, and I’d roughly draw it as a square between Duchess Walk, Tooley Street, Potters Field, and River Thames. The area offers a host of fascinations – residential property, theatre, and, of course, restaurants. The river-facing side overlooks both the Tower of London and Tower Bridge – affording probably some of the best views in London – while some of the more tucked-away spots offer water feature views, cosy interior spaces, or a bustling interior environment.
Currently, there are a handful of astounding restaurants at One Tower Bridge: Tom Simmons, The Ivy Tower Bridge, The Coal Shed, Prosecco House, by CHLOE, Rosa’s Thai Café, and Gunpowder, with more set to open later this year. I was lucky enough to visit six of these seven restaurants, so join me for an incomparable culinary adventure …
By CHLOE is a popular US vegan eatery that has now also expanded over to London, with a few branches around. The One Tower Bridge branch is situated literally at the foot of Tower Bridge – and was the first restaurant I spotted when entering the riverside area after a leisurely walk across Tower Bridge.
This is probably the One Tower Bridge restaurant that surprised me the most. Why? Because it’s vegan. And I loved it. I’m an avid meat eater, and it’s only recently that I’ve begun experimenting with the vegan side of things, some great, some not so much. But by CHLOE absolutely rocked my vegan-unfamiliar tastebuds and takes vegan deliciousness to a whole new level, serving food that’s 100% amazing.
I tried three of their more ‘unusual’ dishes on the menu – The Mac n’ Cheese (£4.80 for the small or £6.60 for large), Avocado Pesto Pasta (£4.80 for the small or £7.60 for large), and the Fish n’ Chips (£8.80).
My favourite was the Fish n’ Chips. What exactly is a vegan ‘fish’? Well, crispy tofu, with a seaweed layer, served with side chips, mushy peas, and tartar sauce. I was astounded by this dish. Honestly, even better than the real thing, and I’d go back for this vegan ‘fish’ dish any day!
One extra note: by CHLOE has a doggie menu called ‘Woof by Chloe’. If you bring your furry friend, you can spoil him or her with Pupcakes (£1.95) – house-made organic whole-oat K9 cupcakes – or Bag O’ Dog Bones (£5.00) – house-made organic peanut butter dog bones. How epic is that?
Rosa’s Thai Cafe
The next restaurant on the list was Rosa’s Thai Café, known as the home of modern Thai food. Rosa’s Thai Café aims to combine British and Thai cultures, with the best of Thai on the menu, and the best of British in terms of café experience.
I LOVE Thai food, but don’t do spice really well. For some odd reason I completely ignored any spice warnings at Rosa’s Thai Café though and opted for the most amazingly-sounding dishes – that ended up being a little on the spicy side, but also very high up on the deliciousness scale.
I started off with the Papaya Salad (£8.25), made with raw Thai papaya, fine beans, tomatoes, dried shrimp, cashews, and a tangy dressing. I’ve never had a Thai papaya salad before, and certainly haven’t had raw Thai papaya before. For those who haven’t either: It’s interesting, whitish in colour and almost cabbage-y & sprout-y in taste, though crunchier. The salad was delicious, and I found myself stealing more and more spoonfuls even though my mouth was on fire!
Next up was Rosa’s Green Curry with Chicken (£8.95), served with aubergine, bamboo shoots & sweet basil. This curry was divine – yes, obviously a little on the spicy side as I missed the two chilli warnings – but absolutely divine, and with the addition of rice the spice factor wasn’t unbearable at all! If you’re not a spice chicken like me, then you’ll love any of these dishes!
After Thai shenanigans, we ventured over to Tom Simmons by award-winning Welsh Chef and MasterChef finalist Tom Simmons, who heads this restaurant to showcase his relaxed and elegant cooking style. Relaxed and elegant it may be, but simple it is definitely not.
We had the most divine dishes here: Sourdough bread with leek butter, Orkney king scallops (£14.50), Welsh spring lamb loin (£24.50), Shetland Isles salmon (£24.50) served with fine beans and the most delicious crispy layered potatoes, as well as the most amazing apple terrine made of 50 of the thinnest apple slices in the world, and served with homemade vanilla ice cream and toffee (£8.50).
I’ve always been a massive fan of fine dining, and Tom Simmons definitely ticked all the boxes for me. The dishes were unique, with perfect complexity and combinations of texture and flavour, beautifully plated, and wonderfully paired with select wines from all over the world.
Every single dish was a winner – but I always like to judge a restaurant on the butter it serves, and the Tom Simmons leek butter definitely deserves all the butter awards out there. (If that’s a thing. If it’s not, it should be.)
The Coal Shed
Up next in the One Tower Bridge experience was The Coal Shed. I desperately wish I had it in me to eat a whole steak while I was there. You know you’re in for a treat when you’re about to enter a restaurant called The Coal Shed. I love meat, so The Coal Shed – which focuses on cooking steak and seafood on natural fire and charcoal – was bound to excite me.
There’s a whole lot of goodness on The Coal Shed’s menu. Think Chargrilled Octopus (£11), Fire-Roasted Lemon Sole (£24), Smoked Goat Shoulder (£55, to share; apparently quite tasty), and Middle White Pork Collar (£19), all served in giant portions, and all with the fire-grilled goodness.
I tried a few starters in a tapas-style feast, but what stood out most for me were their charcoal gnocchi – a plate of soft and smooth black gnocchi with the ever-faintest (delightful) charcoal taste. These were probably the best gnocchi I’ve ever tasted!
While eating is great, obviously, and I’m a massive fan, I’m also very much a princess girly girl and love a good prosecco. So Prosecco House, London’s first bar dedicated entirely to prosecco, seemed like the perfect spot to me.
The interior of Prosecco House is beautiful. It’s tucked in towards the back of the One Tower Bridge area, away from the riverside, and overlooking a beautiful water feature, complete with romantic lights and relaxation guaranteed. The restaurant itself is just as romantic, with dozens of prosecco bottles lining the bar, and the silkiest sofas and chairs and golden tables populating the space.
In addition to showcasing twenty different proseccos, Prosecco House also offers some very unique prosecco-based cocktails. I tried the Russian Spring Punch, with vodka, fresh raspberries, crème de framboise, crème de cassis, lemon juice, and PH prosecco (£12.50). Divine.
This is definitely the spot you want to visit for a fun night out, or leisurely pre- or post-dinner drinks.
The Ivy Tower Bridge
Last on the list of the One Tower Bridge explorations was The Ivy. We timed this pretty perfectly as we headed there just before sunset, giving us the most amazing views of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. There really is nothing better than sipping a glass of bubbly while taking in wonderful sights.
Food-wise, we went for a tapas-style spread. The Ivy has an overwhelmingly large menu and you could literally have anything you could possibly desire! But since I always want everything, small plates works perfectly for me. So we had: Tuna carpaccio (£9.95; yellowfin tuna with ponzu dressing, avocado puree, toasted sesame, and coriander shoots), steak tartare (£9.25, hand-chopped beef striploin with Tabasco dressing, cornichons, shallot, parsley, egg yolk and roasted granary), mozzarella di bufala (£8.95, San Marzanino tomatoes with Nocellara olives, sourdough croutons, pesto, and baby basil), tenderstem broccoli (£3.75, served with lemon oil and sea salt), and truffle and parmesan chips (£4.50).
My absolute favourites were the mozzarella di bufala and tenderstom broccoli, both perfectly prepared and full of flavour, followed by the divine truffle and parmesan chips. Even though I don’t usually eat fries, I have a special place in my belly for truffle fries, and these always do it for me.
The only One Tower Bridge restaurant I unfortunately did not have the chance to try is Gunpowder. This is a hit Indian restaurant that gives Chef Nirmal Save the chance to introduce interesting dishes while staying true to their modern take on Indian home-style cooking.
Gunpowder is also soon launching an Indian-inspired bakery called Custard, which will specialise in savouries, pastries, and sandwiches with Indian flavours and European influences. With a name like Custard, it’s guaranteed to be good.
Visit One Tower Bridge
One Tower Bridge really does have it all – amazing views, great location, and enough restaurants to literally suit any palate. Join any of them for a casual lunch or dinner, a romantic date night out, or a quick bite to eat before heading to The Bridge Theatre, One Tower Bridge’s resident theatre. You’ll find all the links to the full reviews as well as details of the respective restaurants in each section above, but please see below for details on One Tower Bridge as a whole.
One Tower Bridge
Address: One Tower Bridge, London
♥ Instagram ♥
Article Date: October 2018
MISSED OUR LAST ARTICLE? IT’S A SERIES OF LONDON CHRONICLE ARTICLES.
All information correct at time of publication. We do not accept any liability caused by errors, including, but not limited to, changes in price, menu, opening times, address, or other contact details.