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Hispaniola – Upper Deck Restaurant and Bar

Moored on the Thames with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to the right and the London Eye across the water, the restaurant ship, R.S. Hispaniola, is not short on iconic views.

Big Ben, London

Sipping champagne at sunset as the Thames Clipper and tour boats glide past, planes fly across the darkening sky, buses and trains cross the bridges and barges crawl by – felt like being seated at the centre of this vibrant city.

Invited to the launch of the Upper Deck Restaurant’s autumn menu, the deck began to fill up with guests anticipating a good dinner. The Laurent-Perrier champagne flowed as canapés kept up a steady pace. I particularly enjoyed the Thai crab cakes served with sweet chilli sauce and the dinky croque monsieurs– I can never resist a ham and cheese toastie. The Waldorf Salad tartlets were a biteful of freshness.

Ushered indoors for dinner, we sat overlooking the London Eye and mused about taking a table on New Year’s Eve to have a riverside seat for the annual firework extravaganza.

London Eye

For starters we chose between Pressed Smoked Chicken with grapes, baby scallions, brandy mayonnaise and melba toast or Butternut Squash Risotto with fried sage, truffle oil and rocket. The latter was a most satisfying plate.

Butternut Risotto, Hispaniola Upper Deck

The rice had just the right bite, was very well seasoned with the truffle oil complementing, not overpowering, the dish. I enjoyed the fried sage leaf especially as my own attempts with cooking this particular item always result in a burnt offering. Here the leaf was lightly battered and much appreciated.

When the main courses arrived I had a moment of menu envy when the Belly of Pork was presented. It was accompanied by a swirl of truffle beurre noisette mash with shards of crackling resting aloft, looking like a cumulus cloud.

The lamb loin was tender and cooked to order. Once again, the presentation was pleasing – a fondant potato resting in a pool of carrot and rosemary purée and the fine green beans neatly tied into a bundle.

Lamb loin, Hispaniola Upper Deck

Vegetarians were served a plate of tortellini filled with spinach and ricotta in a mustard cream sauce.

Tortellini, Hispaniola Upper Deck Restaurnant

Dessert is always a difficult choice. Resisting a Chocolate Pistachio Pot with lemon shortbread was a risk that was rewarded with a Pear Anise with peanut butter parfait and grand Marnier sauce.  As someone who eats spoons of peanut butter straight from the jar, the parfaits were a treat.

Pear Anise, Hispaniola Upper Deck

Coffee was accompanied by a plate of Petit Four – a delightful indulgence I always find.

Pear Anise, Hispaniola Upper Deck

As we were not given menus with prices, it is difficult to comment on value for money. However, this restaurant is a relaxed venue for entertaining guests, hiring the venue for a party or just gathering after work for a drink. I am informed that they do an afternoon tea – I shall be returning to try that out with friends in tow.

R.S. Hispaniola Upper Deck Restaurant and Bar
Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 5DJ
Phone:020 7839 3011