31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU Tel: 0207 7234 8000
FOOD Four Stars
VALUE Three Stars
ATMOSPHERE Five Stars Cost for three with wine: £270
Now, anyone who reads this column regularly – don’t all put your hands up at once – will know that I’ve been droning on about taking three months off the sauce, and forgoing starchy carbs or sugar, or smelling the sweet fragrance of a spring flower or feeling the warm embrace of a loved one, or partaking of anything that passes for pleasure in this bleak, grey, pointless world. But after all that, I saw the dessert menu and thought “sod it”, and ordered them all. They arrived, four of them, each like a tiny, pastel Zen garden, meticulously tended by a miniature, sugary monk. The rosewater parfait was a smorgasbord of culinary bravado – two powder pink globes of fatty, sugary, cream infused with so much rosewater it had the flowery twang of Turkish delight. Dotted around it were crumbs of crunchy desiccated white chocolate and translucent champagne jelly and dollops of guava jelly and some flowers thrown in for good measure. It was the best kind of showing off – I ate it all. Then I devoured a plate of raspberry cream with apricot puree and cubes of lime foam that looked like sculpted bubble bath but tasted of the first time you ever had sex. Then I laid waste to a panna cotta topped with strawberry compote and tubes of pink meringue and, running out of steam, just sort of smeared something with chocolate cream and pistachio around the plate a bit. And my god, did it feel good. So Ting has the views and, somewhat surprisingly, it serves some very decent food, too. I’ll find out next week if Atherton’s City Social is better, which in my heart of hearts I suspect it will be. See, Atherton is cool, and that’s something Ting will never be. Nowhere in the Shard is cool. That’s almost the point. But that doesn’t matter – right now it’s just about my favourite place in the entire world.