View from Sushisamba, opening later this week
Later this week, on the east side of London, something remarkable is to happen. A venture on an epic scale. The sort of thing we thought we’d never see in London. Those present at the opening will be able to tell their grandchildren: “I was there”.
The Olympics? No, we’re not concerned with something so earth-bound. We’re talking about a venture that’s heading for the stars. Well, to be precise the 38th, 39th and 40th floors of the City’s new Heron Tower, which are to see the opening of one of the largest elevated restaurants anywhere in the world.
Sushisamba (38th/39th floors) will offer not just the highest outdoor dining in the UK, but also the highest bar in Europe. Still not impressed? Up on the 40th floor, Duck & Waffle (to open in a few weeks) will be London’s only high-quality 24/7 restaurant.
Here’s a view of the main restaurant from a site visit a couple of weeks ago:
Together, the two restaurants will cater for 250 seated diners (with a couple of hundred more knocking back drinks in the bars and on the terraces). If it all works, this is going to be a palace of drinking and dining on a scale which is relatively rare at ground level. Forty floors up, and with much al fresco space – for both drinking and dining – it is truly remarkable. Here’s one of the - vast – terraces from that site visit.
How remarkable is this all really going to be? Well, we can’t think of anything vaguely comparable in New York, Sushisamba’s home base. In fact, elevated restaurants in the skyscrapers of the Gulf States or the cities rising in the East tend to be relatively small, very high-end affairs, and without much in the way of outdoor drinking and dining.
Perhaps the most obvious establishment to combine al fresco bar and restaurant at a high level is the Sky Bar/Sirocco Restaurant complex on the 63rd floor of the Lebua State Tower in Bangkok. Here's a view of that restaurant, with Bangkok in the background.
Higher, certainly, than Sushisamba, and more architecturally splashy, but not on nearly the same scale.
Will the London venture work? Watch this space.