Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Tel: 020 7680 2080
Cost: about Â£35-40 per person
So many banks have been turned into trendy wine bars, thereâs even a bank commercial that pokes fun at the whole thing. London has so many bank
buildings, designed and constructed when architecture was used as an expression of financial power and stability. Their presence is intended to overwhelm us with their majesty. Wapping Food is also a conversion, but one that is more closely aligned to the Tate Modern that your local nine-day wonder of a wine bar.
Wapping Food is a converted power station and sitting in this space creates a powerful impression on the mind.All the machinery of this former power station along the Thames is in place and we Lilliputs and Borrowers work our way in between, liberated and crushed by the high ceilings and enormous windows. Hunkered down between the great lumps of metal that look as if they will
spring into productive life at any moment, are tables, chairs and the occasional monitor showing video art. The adjoining Boiler House is currently displaying Keith Haringâs monumental Ten Commandments in an even more cavernous space (free admission for diners).
In such surroundings most cooking would have difficulty being noticed but â all praise to the team in the kitchen â the food is good and even memorable and that is no mean accomplishment. The menu is short, modern, workmanlike and changes at every meal. A recent dinner menu featured good carpaccio of beef with parmesan and truffle oil, a well-chosen assortment of Spanish charcuterie, crisply fried squid with aoili and a salad of baby chard, beetroot and horseradish with candied walnuts which made a good balance of sweet, tart and hot. In mains, roast stuffed saddle of lamb came just the right shade of pink; wild salmon teriyaki with shredded vegetables and noodle salad was a bit lost with its slightly watery sweet flavours; and baked fillet of John Dory with grilled polenta, slow-roasted tomatoes and tapenade which was capable of handling the beefy Australian shiraz we threw at it.
One might assume dessert would not be up to the butch surroundings, but like the main menu these are direct and confident of their place: lavender pannacotta with poached peach sounds all mimsy but was actually subtle and satisfying; chocolate mousse cake was a bit disappointing; but mango syllabub with shortbread was a crowd-pleasing favourite. So, too, is the reasonably priced all-Australian wine list, mercifully free of supermarket/off license fodder. This is a place your friends will thank you for recommending.