Attractive, massive and rather noisy multi-storey bar and restaurant, The Drift, occupies a bespoke space at the base of Heron Tower (the City's tallest building). If you like the clean lines of Heron, you'll probably think favourably of this new eaterie but could be put off by its shabby chic nautical(ish) themed furnishings.
As for the food, there's not much wow factor but it's certainly satisfying. Portions are huge and prices reasonable. A range of sharing dishes makes it a good option for Liverpool Street commuters and city workers looking to meet up for after work drinks and nibbles. We sampled a couple of salads – the pear and pomegranate (tossed with leaves, dried cranberries, walnuts, herbs, seeds and Sauvignon Blanc dressing, £8.75) and the “gigante” bean salad (with oven dried tomatoes, black olives, pesto, watercress and balsamic glaze, £8.95). Both were fine but the pear and pomegranate could have had at least a bit more pom to live up to its name. A simple no-fuss main of crab and crayfish linguini tossed with white wine, chilli and lemon (£9.95) pleased while The Drift beefburger in a toasted brioche bun with homemade slaw (£7.95 with crispy bacon and cheese £2.55 extra and a bowl of chipped potatoes £2.95 extra) hit the spot but the brioche bun took away more than added to the experience. A gooey chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream (£4.95) ended our meal on an upbeat note.
Service was friendly but verged on abysmally slow during our visit. In fairness, it seems demand just hadn't been worked out at this newbie restaurant. The place was impressively teeming for a Tuesday night. Perhaps the crowds came for the cocktails, which were deliciously inventive without being prententious or relying on trends. Mai Tai's Nephew (Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, Kraken Spiced Rum, Orange Curacao, freshly squeezed lime juice served with an orgeat foam, maraschino cherries and lime chips, £7.95) was delightfully observant of traditional recipes and the Skinny Amber Nectar (homemade beer syrup stirred with Pampero Especial Rum, honey and fresh lavender, £7.25) was a tasty surprise.
The Drift is located at Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY.
Disclaimer: Londonist visited The Drift upon invitation of the restaurant.