New head chef at OXBO Bankside favours simple yet ‘funky’ food options

OXBO Bankside at the Hilton London Bankside has many competitors as it is close to Borough Market and many other seriously good foodie options.

However, there’s a new head chef in town, Ollie Couillaud, who is looking to tempt in the foodie crowd.

And he has an excellent pedigree to draw on. Born in France, Ollie studied at the Maison de la Formation in Poitiers before taking his Baccalaureate de Cuisine in 1988. He was head chef for the launch of Tom’s Kitchen, Tom Aikens’ well-known restaurant in Chelsea, London. But it is simple, quality cooking that he truly loves.

“London is amazing and just gets better and better,” he says. “I feel very grateful to have the opportunity I have here. It is not a very corporate environment and we are putting the fun back into hotels with fresh ideas and something that is a bit funky.

“But, we have almost come full circle in food trends. For me, it is all about good ingredients cooked really well.”

With a menu of small plates, of course, its focus is on good quality, locally sourced ingredients and the sort of dishes people really like to eat. The summer menu includes grilled sea bass with olive oil mash, red pepper & basil relish; papaya & avocado ceviche, fennel, red onion and coriander as well as buttermilk fried chicken with spicy red pepper mayo.

The 292-bedroom Hilton London Bankside is a relatively new addition to this relatively newly popular area of London. It is described as “representing the next generation of design-led Hilton Hotels.” And in fairness, it does.

With its industrial design and arty feel, it is a contemporary and stylish addition to the area. The restaurant has an urban, almost edgy look and the bar is an attractive place to network in an informal but pretty sleek environment.

The hotel’s fantastic location for transport and walking around should make it popular with delegates.  It also offers complimentary Wi-Fi and an indoor swimming pool. Recommended sites on its doorstep include the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

But it is its large and stylish event facilities that really make the property stand out. It can accommodate up to 750 in its grand ballroom and the banqueting should be phenomenal.

Sally Trelford is an associate editor at CAT Media.