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Skylon, London

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road
Tube: Waterloo or Embankment
England SE1 8XX
Tel: 44 207 654 7800
view web site ›'s insider take:

When Skylon opened in 2007 in Southbank Centre, the notoriously snippy London food press groused that its food didn't measure up to the view. More recent visits have revealed that the view over the Thames is as lovely as ever, and even better, Skylon's kitchen has learned from, or perhaps simply outlasted, its detractors. Finnish-born executive chef Helena Puolakka offers an elegant restaurant menu as well as a slightly less formal "grill" menu, both dominated by seafood. The best dishes are creative fish and vegetable preparations with bright, tangy sauces, like salmon with kohlrabi and tomato "petals," and pan-fried halibut with baby squid and chorizo. Some of Skylon's signature dishes bear a Scandinavian stamp, such as the gravlax and mackerel tartare. The atmosphere has a Nordic flavor as well, expressed in the Danish furniture and midcentury modern air of the wood, glass, and steel surroundings (themselves an homage to the original Skylon, a 1951 art installation that once stood on the site). Reserve ahead, but arrive early enough for a drink from the classic cocktail menu at the bar, to sip while watching the sun light up the river.—Siobhan Adcock

Open Mondays through Saturdays noon to 11 pm, Sundays noon to 10:30 pm.

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