Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best.
For this article, we caught up with Egla Dedushaj from elegant London venue Searcys at The Gherkin.
Located in London’s most iconic skyscraper, Searcys at The Gherkin is home to both the Helix restaurant and the Iris bar.
Offering diners unrivalled views of London’s skyline, Helix serves up contemporary British cuisine that is a delight for all the senses.
As for Iris, when illuminated by an evening sunset, there aren’t many better places to visit. Handcrafted cocktails can be enjoyed in an intimate setting that lends itself perfectly to a date night or special occasion.
At the forefront of London’s dining and entertainment scene, it’s time to find out more about Searcys at The Gherkin!
What is the inspiration behind both the Helix restaurant and the Iris bar at Searcys at The Gherkin?
Searcys at The Gherkin originally took the form of a private members club. However, we decided we wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the incredible dining experience and breathtaking views we offer. We therefore opened our doors to the public for the very first time in the summer of 2018.
Both Helix and Iris take their names from The Gherkin itself – Helix’s name is inspired by The Gherkin’s helix-shaped structure and Iris takes its name from the building’s iris-shaped peak.
What do you feel Searcys at The Gherkin adds to London’s dining scene?
Searcys at The Gherkin offers contemporary dining at the top of an iconic skyscraper in the heart of London. In keeping with Searcys’ sustainability pledges, we use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to create British dishes with a modern twist. Our amazing team of chefs, led by Development Chef Shaun Rowlands, change the menus regularly to fit with the seasons, ensuring we use prime ingredients throughout the year. As well as amazing food and drinks, Searcys at The Gherkin also offers guests extraordinary panoramic views over the City of London and beyond!
What would you say is the biggest challenge of working in the hospitality industry?
Over the past couple of years, there has been a huge surge in competition in the hospitality industry, as well as a huge rise in costs. You now have to make sure every guest’s experience is flawless and memorable. New restaurants offering customers something exciting are popping up (and sadly closing down) all the time in London. In order to stay at the forefront of the industry, you have to continually develop and evolve your offer to keep customers engaged and coming back.
Someone is visiting Searcys at The Gherkin for the very first time. If you were to recommend one dish and one cocktail for them to try, what would they be?
As our kitchen uses seasonal produce, our menus are continually changing at the Helix. Our favourite summer dishes this year include a starter of chilled Isle of Wight heritage tomato soup with lovage and mozzarella, and a main course of rosemary-roast Scottish salmon fillet with cauliflower crumb. Our signature cocktail at Iris, the Gherkin Spritz (gin, prosecco, mint, elderflower, gherkins), is also a must try.
Tell us a fun fact about Searcys at The Gherkin that people might not know about.
Many people are unaware that Iris is at the very top of The Gherkin and offers panoramic views across London. We also enjoy forming different partnerships throughout the year. In 2019, we worked with nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert for our January wellness menu and workshops; William Curley for an Easter-themed chocolate menu and masterclass; Yogasphere for yoga events; and Perrier-Jouët to create our summer pop-up, The Glasshouse.
What do you think the restaurant industry will look like in 3-5 years?
Based on the rise in awareness and importance of sustainability, we expect to see an increase in conscious consumers, in particular an increase in vegetarian and vegan guests. Consumers will be more likely to make conscious choices about the restaurants they dine in. They will want to visit establishments that reduce plastic use and work with local ingredients and suppliers. This change is something we are looking to embrace at Searcys at The Gherkin and we have already committed to a series of pledges to ensure sustainability is at the core of our business.
Has this interview piqued your interest in Searcys at The Gherkin? Be the envy of your social media followers and secure yourself a table at Helix today!