A beautiful summers day and the opportunity presented itself for me to play hooky from work and catch up with old uni friend Shandy Andy. We've shared some great meals over the years be it the Chamon Balti house in Selly Oak or the legendary 3 hour lunch we had a Kingsleys Steak & crab house in Sydney. These days we are a touch older but possibly no wiser so Andy selected the classy One Canada Square at Canary Wharf near where he works. I took advantage of the weather and Bojo biked down from the West End. I arrived somewhat hot but certainly hungry. As you can guess the restaurant is sited on the 1st floor of the 1 Canada Square building above the shopping centre. It is laid out in a sort of duplex arrangement with the bar and main restaurant on the ground floor leading to a spillover space upstairs. What struck me first off all was how light and airy the room was. It benefits from high windows with lots of natural right setting it apart from other Canary Wharf eateries which can be a bit dingy.
The menu is brasserie inspired with a few twists, a particular speciality seemed to be pies. I imagine this was a nod to the old school clientele who had been dragged kicking and screaming across the river from their city haunts.However the ipad menus are certainly a declaration of modernity. We started with some tiger prawns, which were much better than I expected. Instead of just being grilled and garnished these came with a punchy Far Eastern salsa which really bought out the taste of the prawns as well as providing an array of textures to the dish. A really first class starter and a most generous portion. To follow we both had pies which were again excellent. Mine was venison whilst Shandy had a fish version. Both were really well made with a good mix of content and served piping hot. We washed all this down with a decent southern French red.
After such a hearty meal there was no room for dessert so we settled for coffee and I was overjoyed to see they served me a proper filter coffee in a cafetiere which all good restauranrs should do. My interest had been peaked by the wine list and I saw they had a good selection of bourbons so we treated ourselves to a couple of Eagle Rare 17 YO. The barman was obviously pleased with our selection as he popped over with some gratis tasters of a couple of their other bourbons. A nice touch and much appreciated. Service was professional yet a little stiff which showed at times. The staff were charming enough so I wish they had been encouraged to loosen up a bit but perhaps that comes with practice. All in all a very nice meal in an accomplished restaurant. Looking at the menu & wine list you could certainly run up a bill here and the £177 we paid for two was high but it's good food very well cooked and on a par with what I expect for the price up West. With this and Goodman you can eat well in Canary Wharf.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8