Making sure that I tried as many restaurants and cafes before I get on the place back to Australia, the Lawyer and I had lunch at Le Pont de la Tour, which is located on the banks of the Thames with views of Tower Bridge.
The first thing that struck me was that all the staff spoke really fast - it was a bit of a struggle to understand what they were saying. We were seated outside. Thankfully, there was only a very light drizzle of rain which passed over quickly.
For starters, I got the cod and salmon fishcake. The fishcake was a pleasing thick patty. The breadcrumb crust was light and crunchy. When I cut open the fishcake, it let out a swirl of steam - kinda like in a commercial. While it was good, it wasn't anything special...it was kinda underwhelming. Unfortunately, the underwhelming assessment would be the theme for the rest of my courses that I had ordered.
On the other hand, all the courses that the Laywer had ordered turned out to be the better dishes. For starters, he got foie gras parfait with sweet wine jelly and toasted sourdough. The foie gras was delightfully smooth and rich. The wine jelly certainly packed a punch! We had to request extra bread to finish off the parfait...I don't understand why restaurants only give a few slices of bread when you order pate or foie gras. We had to polished off the parfait sans bread (as it took too long for the extra bread to come out from the kitchen; and when it did come out, we had already finished it).
For mains, I got the roast cod with brown shrimp and beurre noisette. The cod was nice, and the brown shrimp were very sweet. The cod was topped with alot of capers which gave a slight acidic flavour. But like my fishcake, the cod was good but nothing exceptional.
The Lawyer got the braised pork belly with caramelised apple, soaked prunes with cider jus. This was the best dish of the day. The pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth, and the crackling was very crispy. The gravy, which was poured onto the pork when they served the dish, was very flavoursome.
Moving on to desserts, I got the peach trifle. This was even more of a let down. The peaches didn't have much flavour and the vanilla custard also didn't have much flavour. This was the most dissapointing dish of the day. I should have followed my instinct to get the raspberry creme brulee.
The Lawyer got the Valrhona chocolate tart. The Lawyer really enjoyed this - thick, rich chocolate and a buttery short crust pastry.
He savoured his chocolate tart with a cup of coffee, which came with chocolate-covered coffee beans.
For me, lunch at LPDLT was a bit 'meh'...for the price and location, I was expecting something more interesting and peppy (especially when it describes itself as being 'luxurious French cooking'). There was nothing wrong with any of my dishes, it was just kinda average and unexceptional. However, the Lawyer's dishes were more interesting and tasty.
One thing that we certainly didn't like was the wine bucket being located behind the Lawyer's chair. As there were quite a few tables that had ordered wine, the waiters were constantly leaning into the Lawyer to get the bottles of wine. This was annoying - they could have easily put the wine bucket elsewhere and still have easy access to it.
We had our lunch in the restaurant area. So when we left, we had to walk through the bar and grill section of LPDLT, which had a jazz band playing. If we had known this beforehand, I would have chosen to have our lunch in the bar/grill area (which was cheaper and had a better atmosphere) instead of the main restaurant.
Le Pont de la Tour
36d Shad Thames
Butlers Wharf SE1 2YE
Telephone: (020) 7403 8403