Dinneraround Canary Wharf doesn’t have to break the bank, if you look hard enough, there are some restaurants serving good food at a fraction of the price of their flashy neighbours. One such place is The Parlour, facing onto Canada Square, an oasis of green between the skyscrapers.
We visited on a warm evening when the large glass front was fully open with crowds enjoying cocktails outside on the edge of the green. Inside the look is one of English whimsy – not traditional in the sense of a classic British restaurant, but traditional in that it playfully uses various elements to create a caricature of Englishness.
The specials list is attached with a clothes peg and chips are served in plant pots, demonstrating Parlour’s relaxed atmosphere. We started with an Aperol spritz after following the diagram on the drinks menu plotting different flavours of cocktails, wines and beers. If you’re the sort of person that is baffled by extensive wine lists or confused by ridiculous flavour descriptions, you’ll welcome a simple system – failing that roll a dice!
We kicked off our meal with a sharing platter of prawns with garlic, chilli and lime and flatbread, setting us up nicely for our main course. Between courses, we also tried the BBQ whiskey sour with bacon-infused Nikita whisky, lemon, sugar, egg white and topped with a rather of crispy bacon. Remarkably, for a drink packed with bacon, this was on the list of ‘skinny cocktails’ and contained just 85 cals, one of the least fattening on offer.
For mains, we chose the steak frites – an 8oz sirloin accompanied by a plant pot of chips and the lamb burger, served with a mini fryer basket of chips. The sirloin, perfectly medium-rare was pink in the middle and lightly seared on the outside. Served alongside chips, onion rings, mushroom and tomato, it’s a treat. The lamb burger was banging too. As with the cocktails, healthy options are available and they can be served skinny and carb free if requested. We went for the full carb option, with meat from London’s longest-established butcher, plus feta, tzatziki and sweet peppers.
The food was great, but the best part was the surprisingly reasonable prices. Many places around Canary Wharf charge many times more than The Parlour, we’ll definitely be going back again.
The Park Pavillion, 40 Canada Square Park, London, E14 5FW