Imagine the Garden Of Eden, but Adam and Eve are propped up by pillows on some velvet banquette seating, whilst wearing his and hers ASOS EDITION. Then replace all birds and mammals with artsy light fittings and hot pink lampshades, add in approximately 400 cushions, some gigantic round booths, enough truffle to make a piggy swoon, and a group of girls celebrating a 30th birthday under the Tree of Knowledge. That’s 14 Hills.
This restaurant on the 14th floor of one of the City’s skyscrapers is basically a glitzy, feel-good forest that has some of the best views across London. The menu revolves around brasserie classics with something a little different added on top, just so you know that you’re definitely not at ’Spoons. The risotto comes with saffron arborio rice, the beurre blanc has seaweed in it, and their creme caramel is covered in coconut flakes, orange, and tonka beans. This place is great at giving crowd pleasers a makeover. Eating their dressed-up take on a chicken kiev is like watching Martin Freeman go from beloved Tim Canterbury to walking the red carpet as Bilbo. It’s still familiar, just with a VIP twist. A twist that means you’re going to be paying around 20 quid for a main that feels like it should probably hover more around the £15 mark.
The thing is, the prices here have a skyline view tax built in. If you’re not bending over your wild mushroom tart to snap Tower Bridge, or filming as a waiter presents you with a cocktail that looks like it just might contain every ingredient that makes Aesop products so expensive, then either you don’t own a phone, or this just isn’t the restaurant for you. In fact, between their signature, creative cocktails, their bamboo swing, and yes, all of that foliage, probably the last thing you’ll be thinking about here is the food. Not because it isn’t good - it is - but it falls on the comfortable side of special. This place does have a couple of big redeemers though, in the form of the £30 three-course set menu that comes with a glass of wine. Plus, come the weekend, you can get eggs benedict for under a tenner. All in all, the pricing is confusing, but hey, we don’t make the rules.
Realistically, you’re not necessarily booking a table at 14 Hills for the food. If you come here expecting the best ribeye you’ve ever had or a life-altering entrée, then you’ll be about as disappointed as the internet was the day Anna Faris and Chris Pratt split. No, you come here for a big birthday soirée that starts with mai tais and ends four hours later with a custard tart that might very well be the ultimate compensation for ageing. You come here with an out-of-towner to show off London’s views and just how sassy this city is prepared to get with a kiev. You come here for a date night where you sit at their arguably glorious 360º bar. And sure, a glam skyline restaurant with lots of plants might not be as original as Genesis, but when it comes to special occasions and showing off, it sure is useful.
The menu at 14 Hills changes regularly, but these are the kind of things you can expect.
This beetroot starter is one big exclamation mark. It’s super fresh and an excellent way to start your meal if you’re planning on going heavy on the meat dishes for your mains.
This place pretty much always has a soup on as one of their starters and you should absolutely get involved.
One of the few vegetarian options here, this is a pretty tasty mushroom-packed filo pastry situation that comes with a little black truffle. But is it worth £20 of your money? Fuck no.
Arguably the signature dish here, this chicken kiev is full of a garlic and parsley butter. We’re pretty sure this is what Iceland will be selling in the year 2050 and we can’t wait. A great dressed-up plate of comfort food that comes with a red cabbage coleslaw that we’re quite obsessed with.
Now we’re talking. This is a great piece of meat that’s best served classic with the pomme frites and the bearnaise sauce.
Repeat after us: never skip dessert at 14 Hills. Actually, never skip dessert in general. But this place really knows how to make something sweet that you inhale in under 2.4 seconds. The orange and tonka beans keep it feeling modern.
We haven’t seen this creamy citrus posset on the dessert menu since our first visit to 14 Hills. Lords of lemon and all that is zesty, bring it back.
Custard. Beautiful, sweet, innocent custard. We have a lot to say about it, but that’s a topic for a different day. This tart is so damn good and exactly the kind of thing your brain envisions when you’re desperate for something sweet, but the nutmeg stops it from being an overload of sugar. You’ll like it.