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Restaurant Review: Bottomless Brunch at Hilton OXBO Bankside, London

OXBO Bankside
Hilton Hotel, London
Cuisine: British
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Liz O’Keefe: The Hilton’s OXBO Bankside’s new Bottomless Sunday Lunch offers a slice of English tradition and pampering.
 
A good traditional English Sunday lunch when visiting London can be a bit hit and miss. You’ve got the chains offering the usual more-often-than-not from-frozen fare that you can get from Land’s End to John O’Groats or some fabulous gastro pubs that will serve you the perfect plate of hankered for meat and veg for a small fortune with no elbow room to speak of.
 
The OXBO Bankside is somewhere in between, where you can experience the ultimate carvery-style roast dinner with all the trimmings, as well as perfect relaxed and roomy ambience, every starter and dessert you could think of and tasty matching wines to boot.
 
I say ‘experience’, and the Bottomless Sunday Roast buffet is certainly that. Don’t let the description put you off; this certainly one of the classiest buffets and carveries you’ll get, with a table of constantly replenished smoked salmon, meats, charcuterie, salads and refreshing orange and chilli ceviche, as well as a dessert and cheese table, catering for all ages and tastes. A lunching paradise, the concept is simple: pick your starter/s (my partner in crime and I may have gone back for thirds…), order your main – a choice of Gloucestershire beef sirloin, roast corn-fed chicken or fish casserole – then move on to choosing your desserts (again, as many as you can face) and, if you have the room, select your cheese, biscuits, chutneys and fruit. You can ask for more of anything on your plate roast-wise, but by that point we modestly went for more veggies, which on the day was a mix of buttery and aromatic broccoli, carrots and celeriac and the essential additional gravy.
 
In the starter section, the sliced smoked duck breast with a slightly sweet and floral lychee sauce certainly got our taste buds into action and any seafood lover would be overjoyed with the crab, crayfish and prawn bowls, accompanied with a choice of sauces and little extras. The Gloucestershire beef was incredibly rich, with just the right amount of flavoursome fat and served with a giant Yorkshire pudding, which was soft and crisp at the same time – it was so big I had to tear it apart with my hands.
 
Meanwhile the dessert table, all made freshly that morning by Sarah and Fran the pastry chefs, was as pretty as a picture, with crème brûlée and a three chocolate mousse with chocolate pearls and chocolate soil stealing the show. There was also a rich and pungent truffle-infused Brie on offer. (Oh, yes. I made it to the cheese.)
 
Although not packed with children, I noticed a little girl being helped onto the stools by the dessert buffet table, so she could choose from the retro pick and mix, and the considerably large dining room was full of all kinds of diners; couples, birthday groups, family outings – you’d be happy bringing your parents here as much as a group of your loudest friends.
 
The new hotel is lovely to be in, in general, especially with a live acoustic guitarist gently playing popular songs through lunch. Also, it’s good value for money: a Bottomless Sunday Lunch is £28 with a glass of Prosecco per person or for £40 with bottomless Prosecco for two hours, which takes you to just about the desserts.
 
After eating for about three hours straight, as full as can be and very happy, we took a walk along the surrounding Southbank to let the food settle in and bask in a wonderful, food-filled, crisp and cool Sunday out in London town.
 
Liz O'Keefe was a guest of Hilton OXBO
 
 
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10 February 2016
By: Liz O'Keefe
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