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db eats: Plateau, Canary Wharf

Summer in Canary Wharf is set for an al fresco boost after flagship restaurant Plateau unveiled its new beer garden.

Located directly adjacent to the D&D restaurant’s bar and grill area, the space overlooks Canada Square Park at the heart of the east London financial district and offers spectacular views of the estate’s glinting towers.

The artificial turf is covered by a retractable canopy to keep the rain out once the English summer gets into its typically damp stride – and visitors to the London International Wine Fair at the nearby ExCeL exhibition centre could do a lot worse than stopping in one evening next week for some post-fair relaxation and gastronomic excellence.

Since it opened in 2003, Plateau has established itself as one of the very best culinary destinations in Docklands.

The spectacular daytime view out across Canada Square Park gives way to an equally inspiring evening vista of half-lit towers, gleaming street lights and illuminated features on the ground which enhance the space age-like feel of Canary Wharf.

Inside, the restaurant caters, naturally, for the corporate set above all others. Private dining rooms are available for bankers and brokers to thrash out deals over sumptuous modern European cuisine, while both the bar/grill and main dining rooms are typically comfortable and easy-on-the-eye, with bright white, deep padded furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows adding to the pristine environment.

Head chef Tim Tolley has introduced a menu with heavy hints of his French gastronomic background, with starters such as seared diver-caught scallops with pea puree and black pudding (£15) – particularly good with a glass of 2008 Sancerre ‘ La Vigne Blanche’ from Henri Bourgeois (£9.60 by the glass, £46 by the bottle) – bringing elegant and innovative touches to traditional dishes.

A fool-proof test of any City eatery is in its steaks, and Tolley again hits the right note with his fillet of beef Rossini (£28), which comes with crushed potato and a garnish of sunflower seed and was tremendously lean and succulent at medium-rare, with all the flavour you might expect from an Argentinean steak at the nearby Gaucho Grill.

Desserts (all £6.30) are gloriously simple, with staples such as crème brulée, lemon cheesecake and vanilla ice cream receiving welcome twists with the addition of extras such as Champagne-poached rhubarb and sour cream sorbet.

For those with a slightly less hearty appetite, or those who perhaps don’t have too much time on their hands, the restaurant’s grill menu offers a comprehensive selection of slightly speedier dishes, including fish pie containing seafood from neighbouring Billingsgate Market (£10.50) and corn-fed chicken with lemon spinach and mash potato (£16) guaranteed to fill a hole without eating into your day.

Plateau will also be serving draught beer – Heineken – for the first time in the garden as it looks forward to quenching the thirst of Wharf workers during the forthcoming FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon tournaments, which will be shown live on a big screen in the newly-opened space.

With venues in the immediate vicinity of ExCeL likely to be at breaking point at next week’s LIWF, a short hop on the DLR over to Canary Wharf to wine and dine friends, colleagues and clients at Plateau will offer not only a welcome escape from the buzz and bustle of the show, but also a spectacular visual and culinary experience.

4th Floor Canada Place
Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5ER

Tel: +44 (0)20 7715 7100


Alan Lodge, 11.05.2010

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