East London

Published on January 21st, 2016 | by Ben Southwood

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Bella Cosa, Canary Wharf

Bella Cosa, Canary Wharf Ben Southwood
Food
Venue
Service
Value

Summary: The Fine Dining experience needs improvement

2.3

Canary Wharf Italian


Canary Wharf is a strange proposition, restaurant wise and generally. It’s a strange utopian-dystopian world of water, towers, financial firms, glass and steel. Bella Cosa tries to be a slick modern Italian ‘fine’ restaurant, but it gets more wrong than right and, for the price, it’s difficult to recommend.

Let’s start with the good: the food was all attractively arranged and well presented; most of it was decent, especially an incredibly skilfully slow-cooked piece of pork belly, tender and giving like a soft dense meat pillow. Best of all was the incredible selection of Italian craft beers—apparently a serious movement, but one I was completely unaware of. One of the craft IPA style offerings the manager gave us was fantastically crisp, sharp and fresh.

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Then to the bad: Bella Cosa has had a lot of money spent on it—in the millions—and is in an excellent location if we assume Canary Wharf’s resident and working population will continue to grow, as it surely will. But the interior design just seems shoddy and cheap, like they had never seen a fancy restaurant before. Big beams in the windows obstruct what would otherwise be an impressive view of shiny skyscrapers across the water. There are strange coloured Perspex panels everywhere downstairs, for no obvious reasons. The design style is jumbled together.

More important than this is surely the food. Outside of the truly lovely, unctuous pork belly everything was middling, but at non-middling prices. Mains were approaching £30 and starters were in the mid-teens. At these prices you could be in Kitty Fisher’s, or to be honest pretty much anywhere, so food should be fantastic.

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But the fish carpaccio was flavourless, the pasta was of the sort you might cook at home, and some courses were baffling. The crunchy sugar on the sorbet in the pre-dessert meant that the course, rather than cleansing your palate, stuck sweetness right in your teeth. Truffles were thrown across dishes to hide other poor inputs, like bland mushy characterless ravioli.

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Bella Cosa is probably a decent place to go to at lunch, for some cheese and charcuterie, but I cannot recommend their ‘fine’ dinner food—the ratio of hit to miss is very worrying.

http://www.bellacosarestaurant.com/

Bella Cosa, Drewry House, 213 Marsh Wall, Cubitt Town, E14 9FJ

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