Only minutes from the uber-modern Canary Wharf tube station and amidst sprawling high-rise office blocks and luxury apartments lies a hidden gem. I say hidden-gem but it is certainly not hidden, it occupies the fourth floor of an imposing structure in Canada Place but hidden in the sense that if you do not work around the Canary Wharf area you are unlikely to know about it. Canary Wharf is one of those areas that locals and tourists may over-look when planning a weekend in London, but a recent surge in high quality dining options might begin to change that. It was the French restaurant Plateau that brought me to the area and as someone who visits Canary Wharf very rarely it reminded me that it is not just for bankers!
The area that Plateau resides is impressive in itself and something you seldom find in London. The soaring glass structures are more akin to New York than the UK’s capital and the restaurant does a superb job of capitalising on this. As soon as you exit the lift and walk into the bar area the first thing that catches the eye is the Instagram-ready view framed in-between imposing floor to ceiling windows. Plateau was busy on the Thursday night we visited (a good sign!) and after we left our jackets in the cloak room our host took us to a table in the bar area for a pre-meal cocktail.
Plateau’s cocktail menu is original and vast. Concoctions include: ‘Cigar Infused Zombie’ (Atlantico Platino, Atlantico Reserva, Atlantico Private Cask, Apricot brandy, Plantation Overproof, Pineapple juice, Lime juice) and ‘Goji N’ Roses’ (Rose Buds infused Belvedere Pure, Fair Goji liqueur, Lemon Juice, Gomme Syrup) as well as new twists on old classics like ‘Barrel Aged Singapore Sling’ (Boodlee lights Gin, Bols Genever, Heering cherry liqueur, sake, Orange fine Champagne,Don Benedictine, Maraschino, Grenadine, Angostura Bitter, Peychaud’s bitter, Pineapple juice, Lemon juice). As a fan of the traditional Moscow Mule my favourite was Plateau’s ‘Shaked Ginger’ which delicately combines Belvedere Vodka, Cointreau, Boudier Ginger Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup, Rhubarb Bitter and Fresh Ginger.
Following some cocktails we were seated at a window table directly opposite the former tallest building in the UK; One Canada Square and as the sun began to set the backdrop transforms as the light from surrounding buildings lights up the summer sky. The Restaurant serves contemporary French food using the best seasonal ingredients such as Goosnargh duck, seared liver, endive, pickled radish and braised leg; Roast fillet of Hereford beef, ox cheek and potato confit, Josper baked onions, rainbow chard and House cured Scottish salmon, Heritage beetroot and leaves, salmon caviar; while the Bar & Grill offers more informal dishes in a relaxed setting. Highlights from the Bar & Grill menu include Roast corn-fed chicken breast, chick peas, tomato and chorizo; Triple pig burger-pork patty, smoked bacon & pulled BBQ pork shoulder- French fries and Salmon & haddock fish cakes, tartare sauce, mixed leaf salad.
To start I opted for the grilled queen scallops which were soft and light, presented in-shell with a rich and creamy sauce. For the main course I selected the Scottish Fillet Steak served with a rich and creamy Béarnaise sauce. The steak was cooked and seasoned well, and not over-done allowing the flavours from the premium cut of meat to shine through. For dessert I choose the Strawberry and Mint Short Bread with mint ice cream which was presented beautifully with fresh fruit and the mint ice cream was a perfect way to finish a superb meal.
All in all Plateau offers superb fresh food and a creative and extensive cocktail menu with a unique view you fail to get elsewhere in London. The French restaurant is a huge asset to the area and is certainly reason alone to take a visit to Canary Wharf.
Visit their website for more – Plateau
Words by Jack David