London/ Restaurant Reviews/ Restaurants/ Reviews/ UK

November 24, 2012
  • Restaurant:  Le Pont de la Tour
  • Location: The Butlers Wharf Building, 36d Shad Thames
  • Zagat Food Score: 23/30
  • Jelly Good Food Score: 4/10
  • Ambiance: Prim and old-school posh

This was lunch on a whim in cold wet November.  We spotted the place on our way to the Design Museum – you walk past their kitchen windows to get there – the bakery kitchen window, the wine shop window and so forth – it all does seem terribly intriguing.  Besides, its  always a  promising sign when a restaurant isnt scared to to have their kitchens on display.  Being huge fan of French cuisine, and having seen this restaurant in various top lists for years, my expectations were  high.

Le Pont de la Tour does not have a Michelin star, but it is in the Michelin guide, where as The Good Food guide in fact does not feature it at all.  While I can see why this restaurant may appeal to traditionalists at Michelin – the pristine tablecloths, impressive location, a river view, ambitious  French menue and prim service, I can also see why the Good Food Guide did not include it at all – the quality of cooking and presentation  do not match Le Pont de la Tour’s prestigious image.

In Jelly’s humble opinion both starters were poorly presented.
Particularly mine  – a fish and scallop mouse, basically shaped to
look like white turd swimming in some brown liquid. The sauce was
actually delicious.  As for the mains, we opted for salmon and the
presentation failed again – the grey parts on the fillet were
off-putting, even if the fish itself was actually cooked well and
had excellent texture.

We opted for a lunch menu which at £25 for 2 courses was not obscene, but throw in a bottle of Sancerre, water and service and we were looking at a lunch bill of £117 for both of us .    I couldn’t help but think that we would have had a more enjoyable and much cheaper experience snacking around the Borough market just round the corner instead.

Jelly Good Food Bottom Line:

Le Pont de la Tour needs to review and improve its presentation and
potentially consider some modernisation of its menue if it wants to
compete with London’s imaginative top end restaurants like Pollen
Street Social.  Cooking French classics isn’t easy but the standard
here appears to be below par and fails to leave a memorable experience
or even a positive one. I’m glad we came here on a whim, as if this
was a planned, special occasion meal I would have been really

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