Published on November 17th, 2014 | by Rebecca Anne Milford0
The Parlour, Canary Wharf
Summary: The Parlour have literally everything one could want on a menu - and yet they do it all wonderfully
Great Winter Menu
Oh I do love Drake and Morgan. They just get it. They seem to know exactly how to create a bar and restaurant scene that has the same quirky, comfortable decor throughout while never actually giving the impression of a chain. I’ve brunched at The Happenstance, lunched at The Fable, so it seemed a natural time to dine at The Parlour in Canary Wharf.
I go on a Friday evening, traveling across to the hub of Canary Wharf and finding my way to Canada Square. Lots of city folk are welcoming the weekend with beers and cocktails outside, making the most of the final mild weather. Inside The Parlour one side is definitely geared towards the bar scene – music makes for a lively atmosphere; people stand chatting at the bar; there are lots of cocktails and laughing and loose ties. It makes a change from the normal high-shine city bars – here there are bright bowls of lemons, sunshine yellow chairs, and the fronds of greenery one comes to expect from D&M venues. In the restaurant area are large faux cupboards filled with oversized utensils, painted a cheerful yellow, and huge lampshades brighten the place further.
We are shown to a table in the restaurant area by Gary, where it is not so loud and yet we still feel part of the action. He cheerfully tells us that it’s a great crowd in the week, and then the weekend brings a completely different vibe from families, tourists and relaxed shoppers . He throws us a wink and suggests we start with two of the famous Skinny Hummingbird Cosmos, which we agree to in relish.
Aesthetics are key here – the cocktails arrive a glorious sunset pink with a feather just drifting on the side of the glass. A bread bin is equally attractive, with garlic to rub, crystals of salt and a shining little bowl of oil and vinegar. We get stuck in.
The new autumn menu has launched, and sees hearty additions to warm the soul and stomach during the coming seasons. They’re still selling their excellent steaks, lobster, burgers and unique salads, but now there are also options like chargrilled sausage and mash with red onion gravy, fragrant thai red curry, and a delicious Autumn fall flatbread with honey, goats cheese, rocket and figs.
This extends to the cocktail list, where you can now enjoy a Honey and Spice, a London’s Burning (made with peach bitters, spices and mezcal) and an Autumn Ramble – one diving sharer cocktail of Gin & Sloe, muddled winter berries, a splash of cider and spicy gingerbread syrup.
Our lovely waitress Mara recommends the pork meatballs, so we decide to have them as well as the crayfish cocktail. The latter arrives in a wonderfully kitsch and retro glass, absolutely heaped with succulent seafood. The sauce is creamy but with a nice piquant bite, and there is absolutely no scrimping on the crustaceans. The meatballs are also a bit of a revelation. We were expecting them to come with tomato – instead they arrived in a creamy white sauce containing feta, pine nuts, celery and bertolli beans. Highly unusual and utterly delicious, plus the meat is succulent and falls apart in the mouth.
Onto those winter mains. My partner has perused the extensive specials menu and decided on the swordfish (their fish selection is also impressive) while I am continuing with my wintery cuisine by going straight for a pie.
The swordfish is lovely – light, well cooked, and with a fluffy mash to accompany it. The star of the show is certainly my pie. The pastry is thick and crumbly and breaks into divine, sturdy pieces. And the chicken! I have had pies where there are mean little morsels of meat swimming among the sauce and onion, but this is a treasure chest, abundant with the good stuff. There are huge chunks of chicken that melt in the mouth, seasoned well and utterly delicious.
By now we are feeling completely full, and yet have to try some of the autumn taster desserts. These arrive in darling little teacups – the Wagon Wheel of toasted meringue, raspberry sorbet and shortbread is wonderful, while the winterberry crumble is everything you want from a fruity and crunchy dessert.
The Parlour – and all Drake and Morgan sites – have literally everything one could want on a menu – and yet they do it all wonderfully. They’re ticking boxes with their decor, with their cocktail range, and the quality of their food. And now there’s even more reason to rush to the warmth of The Parlour – the new autumn menu provides superb sustenance that will make you pleased that scarf-and-mitten weather has come again.
The Parlour, The Park Pavilion, 40 Canada Square Park, E14 5FWShare This Post