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Dockmasters House


Dockmasters House
1 Hertsmere Road,
Canary Wharf,
London E14 8JJ

Dockmasters House is an extra chic fine dining restaurant located just off wharf at Canary Wharf. This Indian restaurant is disguised as a clean-cut posh restaurant you’d expect from a French cuisine location.

The modern lines, crisp white table cloths, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows set you up for an exquisite dining experience.

And, frankly, I was a little let down from all the posh décor build-up.

Ordering off the set lunch menu, my friend and I decided on the Crisp Fried Chili Squid and the Potato and Sago Pearls Tikki as starters. The squid was crunchy with a slight mango flavor that was complemented by the spicy sauce smeared on the plate’s edge. The potato and sago pearls were little patties deep-fried and accompanied with a sweet and sour sauce, a yogurt sauce, and forgettable potato and chickpea salad. The potato and sago pearl patties were perfectly crisp on the outside, the sago pearls with a different type of crunch than the potato, and a soft inside with a balance of different textures from the smoothness of the potato and the slight chewiness of the pearls.

The starters were pleasing, but not mind blowing. The main course is where my big disappointment came. I ordered the Fish Moilee in a Coconut and Mustard Sauce and my friend ordered the Grilled Chicken in a Tomato Fenugreek Sauce. Both came with Basmati rice. The fish moilee lacked flavor—I was eating a bland fish in a bland sauce with the only heat coming from a single slice of a red jalapeño pepper and the only flavor than a weak coconut milk was the occasional crisped basil leaf. The grilled chicken dish had slightly more spice, but not enough to attribute any sort of wow factor to the dish, and was balanced out by sweetness. The redeeming factor of this dish was that the chicken was grilled and not stewed as you often find in this type of dish.

The best part of the meal was the naan bread. The naan is probably the only thing that I would return for. We ordered garlic naan and mango almond naan to accompany our main dish. The naan was freshly baked, at least seemed so, an perfectly flavored in each instance. While the garlic was good, the mango almond was delectable. Perfectly sweet with a hint of coconut and nuttiness from the sesame seeds.

Despite out better judgment, we went for desserts—the Kulfi and a Selection of Sorbets. The kulfi was…interesting. I couldn’t pin whether it was good or not. It was basically a cone of deeply frozen pistachio ice cream topped with sweet spaghetti noodles and gooey candy fish egg looking things. This is my best interpretation of what we were brought. The sorbet was simply and tasted exactly like each flavor brought out in the selection—raspberry, coconut, and mango. It was sweet, smooth, fruity and tasted pure.
While the atmosphere in the restaurant was nice and clean cut, it was ordinary. The plating and presentation of the dishes was, however, beautiful. Different shape dishes with different sized, usually large, rims to house sauce smears displayed the food with color, design and thought to make it visually appealing. Even though the flavors didn’t impress, the presentation did.

I found Dockmasters House to be formal, but lacking charm, with mediocre and overpriced dishes.

By Jeanne Drouilhet