Search

A French-inspired dinner party menu from Le Pont de la Tour

Impress your guests and pretend you're a kitchen whizz with these deceptively simple French recipes from Le Pont de la Tour 

Originally opened in 1991, Le Pont de la Tour quickly became a London-favourite thanks to its riverside setting, unrivalled Tower Bridge views and marvellous French fare. While perhaps best known for the original restaurant, post-pandemic the team remodelled the bar space into a more casual, bistro-style space that sits alongside the slightly more formal dining room.

Executive chef Tony Fleming joined the restaurant in 2020. A storied chef, his career includes stints with Richard Neat and Marco Pierre White, alongside winning a Michelin star during his time as head chef at Angler, the seafood restaurant within South Place Hotel. 

These two recipes draw influence from the cooking style Fleming utilises at the Bistrot – combining classical French techniques and favourite dishes from the dining room with a slightly more relaxed approach. This culminates in a menu that is both accessible and impressive, the kind of dinner that will earn you some culinary kudos but doesn't involve being shackled to the kitchen while everyone else has all the fun.  

Ray Wing Au Poivre with Shrimp Brown Butter

Swap out steak for a meaty ray wing with this fresh take on the French classic

Serves 6

Preparation time 15

Cooking time 20

Ingredients

  • 2 x 900g ray wings, skinned both sides
  • 10g cracked black pepper
  • 300g butter
  • 150g peeled brown shrimps
  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 15g fine capers
  • 5g roughly chopped flat parsley
  • 1 lemon, for juice
  • 1 lemon, skinned, segmented, flesh diced
  • 60g monks’ beard (or samphire if unavailable)

Method

  1. Cut each ray wing into 300g portions
  2. Heat a large, thick bottomed iron pan. Add a splash of vegetable oil and get smoking hot.
  3. Season ray wings on both sides with salt. On one side sprinkle over the black pepper and press into the flesh.
  4. Place the peppered side down into the pan. Cook until golden brown (approx. 2 minutes)
  5. Turn fish over and cook for 2 minutes more, keeping pan on high heat.
  6. Add half the diced butter and allow it to foam up and baste the fish with the butter, add a good pinch of salt.
  7. Baste on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove fish from pan and put on an oven tray with all the juices from the pan. Cover with foil and leave somewhere warm to rest.
  8. Meanwhile heat the pan back up and add remaining butter.
  9. Cook the butter whilst stirring until it bubbles and goes brown (approx. 3-4 mins)
  10. Add the juice from one lemon and some salt and mix well.
  11. Add the shallots, lemon flesh, parsley, capers, shrimps and all the juices from the fish tray. Mix well and check for seasoning.
  12. Remove foil and put the fish in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes to warm through.
  13. Plunge the monks beard into boing water for 10 seconds.
  14. To serve. Place the six portions of ray wing into the centre of the plate. Spoon over some of the warm shrimp butter and drape over the monks beard.

Asparagus Mimosa

No, not the breakfast cocktail – Asparagus Mimosa makes a vibrant side dish to any meal

Serves 6

Preparation time 15

Cooking time 15

Ingredients

For the asparagus

  • 1200g medium asparagus
  • 5 litres water
  • 500g salt

Dijon mustard vinaigrette

  • 50g Dijon mustard
  • 30ml water
  • 55ml red wine vinegar
  • 5g sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 35g honey
  • 200ml Olive oil
  • 150ml Sunflower oil

For the garnish

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 banana shallots
  • 1 large sprig flat parsley

Method

For the asparagus

  1. Peel asparagus and break off the woody end part.
  2. Boil water and salt.
  3. Drop asparagus into boiling water for exactly one minute.
  4. Remove and refresh in ice water. Leave on a cloth in fridge to dry.

For the vinaigrette

  1. In a mixing bowl add mustard, water, vinegar, honey, sugar, salt.
  2. Mix both oils together and then whisk them into the rest of the ingredients so they emulsify.

For the garnish

  1. Put eggs into boiling water for 10 minutes and refresh under cold running water. Remove shell and separate the white form the yolk. Chop them both roughly.
  2. Finely chop the shallots.
  3. Roughly chop the parsley.

To assemble

  1. Lay 6 spears of asparagus neatly side by side on a chopping board. Brush with olive oil and season with sea salt.
  2. Trim off the very bottom piece so all are in line. Transfer to serving plate, do this six times.
  3. Spoon over a little of the mustard vinaigrette.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg white, egg yolk, parsley and shallot. Add some sea salt and mix well.
  5. Generously spoon this mixture over the bases of the asparagus and serve.
Loading