If you’re looking for an ultra stylish restaurant that plates up wholesome food with a quirky edge then head to The Parlour Bar and Restaurant in Canary Wharf.
Atmosphere: Before you even step foot inside The Parlour, you’re struck by the uber cool vibe it exudes. You’ll spot hipsters playing a casual game of ping pong while chic ladies sip cocktails on the alfresco terrace that boasts its own bar, giant umbrellas and fire pit. Then once you enter the bar and restaurant you’re wowed by the timber-panelling, unusual artwork made from pots and pans mixed with a bit of Sandanianvia decor. It is also dotted with quirky touches – instead of flowers, the centrepiece of each table is a basil plant pot, the chairs are all mismatched throughout the restaurant and friendly staff handout bright green blankets to guests sipping cocktails outside so they can keep warm from the winter chill. Yup, this is where all the cool kids hang out – which is no surprise as it’s set inside the stunning looking Park Pavilion building in Canada Square.
Food: The Parlour’s menu uses locally sourced ingredients and excels in fish dishes which is no surprise as Billingsgate Fish Market is a stone’s throw away. In fact the three dishes on the daily specials board, when we visited, were all fish – including pan fried sea trout, seabass fillet and salmon. Fish is also heavily featured on the rest of the menu with prawn lollipops, crayfish cocktails, a seafood board, beer batter fish and chips, and the piece de resistance – lobster with lemon butter and fries. The lobster is one of the priciest and fiddliest dishes to eat but well worth it as it is cooked to perfection. During dinner we noticed a lot of big groups celebrating and many chose the sharing platters which come in a fish, meat and vegetable options. I opted for the Mediterranean flatbread sharing platter which was served with warm grilled bread, hummus and baba ganoush. The roasted marinated vegetables were presented on a bed of rocket salad seasoned with salt, pepper and a glug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was a tasty way to start the evening but I must warn you that the portions are massive. So if you intend to have a sharing starter than pace out your meals so you don’t get too full too quickly. When it comes to mains you can’t go wrong with the farmhouse chicken served with wild mushrooms, spinach, tarragon jus or even the Thai red curry with fragrant basmati rice. Another popular dish many diners opted for was the Suffolk farm lamb shank with sweet potato mash, rosemary jus and harissa. But if you want comfort food this autumn then opt for the fish pie which has mussels, salmon and other fishes treats tucked underneath a mountain of fluffy yet comforting mashed potatoes. A popular vegetarians option was the halloumi and hummus burger but I also spotted many tucking into salad with options including crispy duck & noodle salad, marinated Thai beef salad and Californian hot smoked salmon salad. There is a small but good selection of desserts. I would recommend the mini pudding shots. The three puddings were dished out in tea cups and included a soft chocolate brownie, a deconstructed wagon wheel with the most delicious sorbet and last but not least a warming red berry crumble. It was the perfect way to end a meal. One of the best things about the food was the presentation – chips were served in terracotta flower pots, while cocktails came in a mix of champagne flutes and old jam jars. Even the milk that accompnaies tea was presented in a mini milk bottle. These eccentric touches meant the restaurant left a lovely lasting impression.
The cocktail menu at The Parlour is impressive and bar staff will also make non alcoholic versions of each drink. I’d recommend the virgin Caipirinha and virgin Mojito which were both zesty and refreshing – great with a heavy meal.
Cost: Starters range from £5.95 – £35.95, mains range from £ 7.55- £ 24.95 and desserts range from £ 4.95 – £11.95.
Contact: The Parlour Bar & Restaurant, The Park Pavilion, 40 Canada Square Park, London, E14 5FW. Tel: 0845 468 0100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.