Sunday, 5 December 2010

Banyan on the Thames

It has always struck me as strange that we have so few restaurants by the banks of the Thames in London, when almost every other major city that either has a major river running through it or a position by the sea capitalises on that, however, now the Hotel Rafayel in Battersea has opened its doors to guests and created its ?Banyan on the Thames? to make use of its fabulous situation with views up, down and across the water.

Almost every table benefits, as a result of the clever two level design, which is also modern but chic with the clever use of lighting panels that change colour and offering a menu that is aimed to appeal with its tempting fusion mix of Asian and Modern European dishes in a thoroughly modern fashion, like tilapia fishcakes with lemongrass chilli jam or Cromer crab, mango and king prawn with coriander and chilli raita.

Even their version of fish and chips is rather unusual as it is made with pieces of monkfish fried in lime and coriander tempura batter while the fillet of tuna is seared in a teriyaki marinade and served with pot roasted baby vegetables; the carnivores should be more than delighted with the chilli beef Banyan style or the rack of lamb with a pistachio crust, gratin potatoes and a red pepper coulis.

The desserts are not exactly run of the mill either with kheer brûlée, caramelised rice pudding served with toasted almond, or cheese mousse with cinnamon crumble and a whisky toffee sauce. The wine list is short but sensibly compiled providing a decent choice at reasonable prices.

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