Happy Birthday To Me
When: November 2014
Where: Ting at Shangri-La at The Shard, London
A birthday is a time to celebrate and also a time to reflect on the year gone by and to look forward to the year ahead. Originally I had planned to have this meal as a way to say farewell to living in London but it was not meant to be, instead it turned into an excellent birthday lunch. We arrived in good time at London Bridge and got our bearings as to the entrance of the hotel. As we still had some time to kill we did the only sensible thing and had a walk through Borough Market to whet our appetites. Unlike the weekend zoo when all the stalls are open, a late weekday morning visit is an oasis of calm by comparison, time to take in the smells and sights, rather than shuffle through the stalls and long queues.
After a short walk we headed off to our destination. On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by the door staff and passed the riff raff test and were allowed through. We were warmly greeted at the front desk and the tone was set for an excellent lunch. Our dining vouchers were exchanged and after a short bag check we were whooshing up 35 floors to the lobby area and Ting. First impressions were strong. As expected for a high end establishment the finishes and attention to detail were excellent. Despite being a chain hotel in the middle of London there was a distinctly Asian feel to the design.
Like someone telling you the ending to a good book we knew the view was coming when the lift doors opened. Yet despite knowing what to expect the view, like a good book still takes you by surprise. It was a beautiful clear day and it was magnificent to see out across London. We walked over to the restaurant entrance where our reservation was found, our coats taken and we were taken over to a nice secluded spot in the far corner, not far from the large open kitchen area.
We made ourselves comfortable, marvelled at the view and the lovely table setting. We had a view of the railway lines and out towards the towers of Canary Wharf. Menus came over and we decided to go with the set lunch and a bottle of red.
To start we had the Jerusalem Artichoke soup and the Black Cod. The soup was creamy and flavourful with the surprise of the soft egg in the middle. Lots of fresh sour dough bread and soft butter were available.
For our mains we had the Lincolnshire Pork Chop and the Plaice Fillet. Both were cooked to perfection and my pork chop had a delicious cauliflower and garlic purée, with a lovely flavour of caramelised onion after-taste.
We finished up with the chocolate and citrus desserts which both rounded off our dinner very nicely.
A couple of strong and much needed coffees served up with some petit fours whilst we continued to enjoy the atmosphere and amazing views.
To conclude, we had a great meal at Ting, the food whilst not fine dining in the truest sense was excellent and well executed. Service was friendly and genuine with a couple of very minor flaws, but considering the restaurant has not been open that long is understandable. However, the view and atmosphere are quite unique and are well worth the cost of the meal alone. Ting comes highly recommended for a special occasion.
After a busy day walking along the Southbank and onto Leicester Square we had to stop at our favourite Indian restaurant, Woodlands. It was our first time back since our South India trip and after reading the menu it was almost an exact replica of much of the street food and breakfast buffets we'd enjoyed on that trip. Still being slightly full from our indulgent lunch we went with some simple dosas, fresh, spicy and delicious, for a few minutes we were back at the Oberoi in Mumbai.
Sadly we left to a drizzly London night but a beautiful end to a perfect day.