Harden's says

Due to open in 2021 (or possibly the year after), the UK's third branch of Sushisamba at the second ever W hotel, this one will be part of the vast St James's Quarter redevelopment. The restaurant will be on the rooftop of the distinctive, 'ribboned' building.

survey result

Summary

£89
 ££££
3
Good
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The lift ride up to the 39th floor is part of the fun”, when you visit the “amazing” City branch, in the Heron Tower, of this US-based chain (with siblings in Vegas and Miami): a Hollywood-esque scene, complete with a ritzy cocktail bar; vertigo-inducing outside terrace; and svelte dining room boasting “incredible views”. But while it can offer an all-round “great experience” – not least “fabulous” funky, fusion fare – its “pretty-looking” dishes come at extragalactic prices and sceptics feel that “you can eat this style of cuisine better elsewhere” nowadays. (Gripes of an overly “sweet note” to dishes also crept in this year). Its two-year-old WC2 sibling likewise has a superb setting on top of Covent Garden Market, overlooking the back of the Royal Opera House. But while it, too, is “all very slick and fashionable”, it, too, charges “obscene prices albeit for decent food” and – lacking the high-rise glam of the Square Mile – can seem more “clinical” and “pleased with itself”.

Summary

£89
 ££££
3
Good
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The lift ride up to the 39th floor is part of the fun”, when you visit the “amazing” City branch, in the Heron Tower, of this US-based chain (with siblings in Vegas and Miami): a Hollywood-esque scene, complete with a ritzy cocktail bar; vertigo-inducing outside terrace; and svelte dining room boasting “incredible views”. But while it can offer an all-round “great experience” – not least “fabulous” funky, fusion fare – its “pretty-looking” dishes come at extragalactic prices and sceptics feel that “you can eat this style of cuisine better elsewhere” nowadays. (Gripes of an overly “sweet note” to dishes also crept in this year). Its year-old WC2 sibling likewise has a superb setting on top of Covent Garden Market, overlooking the back of the Royal Opera House. But while it, too, is “all very slick and fashionable”, it, too, charges “obscene prices albeit for decent food” and – lacking the high-rise glam of the Square Mile – can seem more “clinical” and “pleased with itself”.

Summary

£96
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

What’s not to like at this “fabulous” 39th floor pan-Asian in the Heron Tower (reached by western Europe’s fastest lifts!) – the interior is “very cool”, “the views are to die for” and “the food just sings – punchy flavours of sweet, sour, salty deliciousness”. The answer, unfortunately, is “slow and disorganised service” and “prices even higher than the skyscraper it’s based in” which leave far too many reporters nowadays (including former fans) accusing it of “style over substance”. Its long-awaited new Covent Garden sibling – occupying the dramatic site that has seen many chains come and go (most recently Brasserie Blanc) finally opens in November 2018.

Summary

£96
 ££££
3
Good
2
Average
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“It’s high up and happening” (“even the lift to get up there is brilliant!”) and “you can’t knock the breathtaking view, or for that matter the food” on the “impressive” 39th floor of the Heron Tower, which “shouts romance” and has “a beautiful roof balcony” to boot. Even so, whether you can justify the “astronomical” prices is debatable, and while the “bold” Japanese/South American fusion bites are “exquisitely tangy and fresh”, it can seem like “there’s even more emphasis on how they look than how they taste”. A sibling Sushisamba is to open in Covent Garden Market’s Opera Terrace as we go to press.

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

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Restaurant details

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