Lucie Loves… Food // How to escape London, without leaving – try the shisha + sushi at Syon Lounge, Brentford
From what was initially going to be a pretty packed weekend, (with plans of helping my mate Pauline move house, followed by a blog event in the evening) things actually ending up being rather quiet… A rare Saturday night free! Woo hoo! What could I do to make the most of it?
Ping, goes my inbox, and in it an email from the team at Syon Lounge, inviting me along for a review of their restaurant. I called my mate Laura and asked if she fancied coming with me – IF I could get us a table that evening. A bit last minute, I know. But like everything in life – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Syon Loungeis quite the dining experience. To be fair, I hadn’t really read up much about the restaurant beforehand – as I didn’t want any spoilers or anything to affect my opinion of it. All that I knew is that it was located pretty close to my house – a convenient £7-10 Uber ride – atop the Hilton London Syon Park Hotel, overlooking the rather magnificent two hundred acre Syon Park estate. The only really classy Japanese sushi that I’ve had in London is Nobu, but there wasn’t really anything close to Richmond that lives up to it… until now.
Dress-code said smart/casual with no trainers, so gave me the perfect excuse to get a bit dolled up for the weekend and wear heels and a little red ASOS Bardot-style dress, that I’d bought last summer, but had only worn a handful of times.
I tapped the address Syon Lounge, Brentford into my Uber app. However, it turns out that this place is pretty tricky to find – even for taxi drivers… On our return journey we popped into the lobby of the adjoining Hilton Syon Park Hotel and asked one of the concierge for the best address or postcode to give to our cabbie. He kindly told us to enter: TW8 8JF, but our Uber driver still got a bit confused and couldn’t get through the two barriers, and so we ended up walking out to meet him. Poor chap!
Anyway, having finally arrived, we walked around the side of the hotel and up the stairs to the large covered roof terrace area, home to Syon Lounge. On arrival, our names weren’t down as a reservation and so I worried that they weren’t expecting us. Fear not! It turns out that this place is very popular for large parties and big groups of people, so they only need to note these sort of bookings.
We made ourselves comfortable on the low banquette seating, basking in the warmth of the outdoor heaters, next to a handsome young couple having a date night next to us. Whilst checking out the menu, we were then greeted by the unforgettable Mohaned. From the off his customer service style and attentiveness were perfect. We were made to feel incredibly welcome.
Both Laura and I are newbies to the Shisha lounge concept, and so asked Mohaned what he would suggest, in order for us to get the most out of the experience. Mohaned was quick to move us to another area of the lounge, where the atmosphere was more lively. We were surrounded by young men and women in their 20s and 30s, all here to enjoy a night out – sans alcohol. That is what makes this place so different; it’s all about the food and the company.
Across from us were Kyla and friends, who were out celebrating a birthday. This was also their first time at Syon Lounge, but not their first time at a Shisha place. They too were really impressed with the food and vibe.
Mohaned suggested that we start with a Pink Lemonade Shisha, and some Edamame beans to nibble on, whilst we worked up an appetite. Again, being new to the Shisha + Sushi concept, we asked Mohaned to recommend a few dishes. Leave it with me! He replied, confidently. He asked whether we had any food allergies or dislikes, and then set about conjuring up a real feast for us.
I’d definitely think we should advocate being more open to asking for opinions, when ordering at new restaurants, particularly places like this, where the staff clearly know the menu inside and out. Its easy to be overwhelmed by the menu when dining somewhere new, so why not throw caution to the wind – tell your waiter or waitress your budget, likes and dislikes and let them go wild, choosing for you. It’s such a fun experience.
The food that arrived – and that kept on arriving – was more than enough for two people, and could have definitely satisfied three or even four of us. When the beef arrived, and Mohaned lifted the lid (Cue steam for dramatic effect) Laura and I tucked in, and looked at one another, speechless. Oh my goodness. This is one of the best things we’d ever tasted. The meat was medium-rare (our request) and so very tender, the sauce was so incredible, that we literally had to stop ourselves from lifting up the bowl and drinking from it!
What we ate at Syon Lounge…
- Edamame with spicy garlic - £5
- Wild prawn with spicy cream tempura - £13.50
- Californian roll, avocado and cucumber - £10
- Tempura asparagus roll - £8
- Salmon and avocado maki - £6.50
- Tuna and avocado maki - £6
- Salmon sashimi - £6
- Beef fillet (150g) toban yaki - £17.50
- Mixed dessert platter
- Mint tea
- Lychee Mojito mocktail
Mohaned reminded us that because it’s a lounge, it means that you can take your time to chat, smoke shisha and savour the food and conversation. There’s no rush, and there’s definitely no hangover either. I woke up this morning, having had a decent lie in, expecting my head to be pounding… but nope! I was as fresh as a daisy, having only had one glass of Prosecco before going out for dinner, and then tasty mocktails for the rest of the evening.
I’m really excited that there’s somewhere like this so close to where I live in Richmond. It makes for such a refreshing change, you truly do feel like you’re on holiday, as you sit up there enjoying the roof terrace. In the summer, the windows are opened to let in the warm breeze.
We really enjoyed our Saturday night out with a difference, and we’re definitely coming back here again – but next time with a big group of friends, to enjoy the view over Syon Park at sunset, or maybe even for afternoon tea… and more of their cracking waffles topped with strawberries and different types of melted chocolate!
Check out more Lucie Loves Food restaurant reviews, and tickle your tastebuds.
Over to you…
What are your favourite things to do at the weekend, that don’t include booze? Please send me your suggestions, or fave restaurants!