Chef Tom Simmons of MasterChef – The Professionals 2011 fame has opened an eponymous restaurant (his first) at the south end of Tower Bridge, showcasing his admiration of British and French cuisine with an emphasis on his Pembrokeshire heritage and on sourcing high quality Welsh ingredients.
I’d been trying to get a table at Tom Simmons – Tower Bridge since the restaurant opened a few weeks back but to no avail. The nights when I could go were all booked up. So when an invitation to attend a LLamb’s Day press dinner came my way I was glad to RSVP my seat at the table.
A few bites into my meal I was even more pleased to have been able to join the event.
The menu, as follows, was a doozy:
- Crispy Welsh lamb breast with smoked garlic aioli, whipped goats cheese, beetroot and candied walnuts;
- Smoked salmon and St Brides crab with apple and celeriac salad;
- Welsh lamb cannon with dauphinoise potatoes, peas, girolles, and lamb and mint jus; and
- Bitter chocolate tart, milk sorbet and toasted almonds.
The lamb (from Rhug Estate Organic Farm) was juicy and tender. That salmon and crab dish might have beaten it by a slim margin for my favourite course from the night. But it was all so lovely. Even the cockle popcorn with Pembrokeshire seadweed mayo served as nibbles before the feast formally commenced.
Service was friendly and good (but maybe still finding its footing in the restaurant’s overwhelmingly busy early days). During my visit, I dining from a special Llamb’s Day tasting menu, but at quick look at daily a la carte prices suggests that most starters are priced around £8 and most mains go for £15-20.
But what was this LLamb’s Day thingy? A new one for me but now an occasion I’d be keen to celebrate annually, 2017 was its second year. From the folks at Eat Welsh Lamb & Beef:
Playing on the name of the ancient Lammas Day – the first harvest festival of the year – Llamb’s Day takes place on the 1st of August. It is a stake in the ground to kick start the Welsh Lamb season by feasting on the finest, freshest lamb that’s been reared on the lush, Welsh grasslands using farming methods that date back centuries.
More at eatwelshlambandwelshbeef.com.
Tom Simmons – Tower Bridge is located at 2 Still Walk, SE1 2RA. Find out more at tom-simmons.co.uk.