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Oxo Tower (London)
Member Name: BumpyBump
Oxo Tower (London)
Date: 30/10/09, updated on 02/11/09 (58 review reads)
Advantages: Nice view, IF you can get a window seat
Disadvantages: Too over priced and way too crammed in
The Oxo Tower surely has to be one of the most over-rated restaurants in London. I had heard such amazing things about it and I go past it twice a day on my commutes to and from work. It's certainly an iconic building, with the big OXO letters lit up in red that you can see from quite a way away.
I was taken there on a date by someone who was clearly trying to impress. I believe you usually have to book quite far in advance, but he managed to get a last-minute cancellation.
The Oxo Tower seem to have quite rigid rules about when you can be seated compared to what time your booking is for. We got there about 15 mins prior to our booking but, even though the restaurant was empty, we were told we couldn't be seated. This became really obvious as to the reason why when we were invited into the cocktail bar instead. The cocktails are pretty expensive (our champagne ones were £12 each and they were quite small) so they obviously get a lot of revenue from that alone.
After a few drinks, we made our way to the restaurant where were seated without any fuss. I was absolutely horrified at how many tables they had tried to cram in. We were sitting at one end of a row of 2-seater tables and each one was not more than 6 inches away from the next. It was completely ridiculous. I was glad we were at the end or we would've been completely sandwiched in. Trying to have a private conversation was impossible (the people at the table next to us later got chatting to us and admitted they had been listening to every word we had said). It all just screamed 'GREED'.
The menu didn't have that much choice in my opinion - there were only about ten main courses to choose from. They're all rather expensive too, being about £20-25 on average. The size of the meals was pretty small as well and a 3-course meal in no way filled me up (I ended up in KFC a few hours later). The food was nice though (I had duck and potatoes), although nothing special.
The service was fine, but nothing amazing. We were showed no better or worse service than I would get in Pizza Express. The toilets were nice and clean though, and nicely done up, so that was a plus. And the decor of the restaurant in general was quite white and simplistic (clinical?) which, again, was fine.
To be honest, the only things you are really paying for are the view of the Thames (if you can get a window seat, which most people do not) and the cache of going to The Oxo Tower. I wouldn't bother going again.
Summary: An expensive meal out that didn't fill me up