So here it is, after much cajoling from a good friend of mine, my first blog post! Mmm easier said than done, but I will give it my best shot. Baby steps…
It’s a gorgeous day in London, one of the very few we’ve had this year and what better way to spend it than on the river drinking sangria!
We start the day with a river cruise from London Bridge to Canary Wharf. This is a great way to see London and if you have an Oyster card, you get a discount too! So much better than being stuck on a hot, sweaty tube! The boat stops right outside our destination for the day…. Camino Puerto del Canario.
This restaurant is part of a small chain, with restaurants based in Kings Cross and The City. Even though Canary Wharf on a weekend during the Olympics is totally deserted, we chose this branch because of the gorgeous outside terrace and awesome views. It’s a wonder it isn’t packed out on sunny days, but an absolute bonus for us because there is no bun fight for that precious outside table!
We arrive absolutely starving and dive straight into the menu. Maybe being so hungry was to our detriment because we stuck to the more common Spanish tapas. All the usuals are on there – chorizo (this one cooked in a Rioja and served with some piquillo peppers), tortilla de patata, calamari, gambas, patatas bravas…but we also went for some really unusual dishes on the menu such as chicken livers and a squash and potato dish.
While deciding what to have, the waitress left us with a bowl of the fattest, juiciest olives I have had in a long time! They had a lovely after taste of red wine vinegar that blended well with the mix of thyme and rosemary. Fortunately 2 out of the 4 of us dining, don’t like olives – so more for me!
The food arrived quickly, thank goodness, and everything that came was really good!
Rioja Chorizo with piquillo peppers (£3.75) were tender and rich from having been soaked in the wine! I would’ve preferred a bit more sauce though and I am not sure that the piquillo peppers added anything. I was expecting a punch of heat, but they just looked like ordinary roasted red peppers to me.
The Tortilla de patata (£3.25) was gorgeous, with just the right wobble in consistency and plenty of potato in the omelette. I just wish there was more of it. The portion was pretty small to share amongst 4 hungry people.
Patatas bravas (£3.75) were probably the weakest of the dishes we chose, for me. I’ve only ever been to Spain once, so don’t know how authentic these babies were! I do know though that I prefer a lot more sauce on the potatoes than the measly bit that was on this dish. All the fire was on top and by the time you got to the bottom potatoes, they were nothing more than cubes of fried potato!
Chipirones a la Andaluza or Crispy squid with aioli (£5.25) was absolutely delicious! Beautifully crispy, but still soft and the aioli had the perfect balance of garlic and tartness from the lemon.
This next dish was one of the “unusual” ones I talked of earlier. Huevo con Calabasa (£8.50). It came with a perfectly fried egg on top, the yolk was all gorgeous ooziness that just blended in with the potatoes and made for the silkiest sauce. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the dish with the egg on top because the waitress was too quick to do her thing with it! I had expected half a butternut squash, stuffed with all sorts of goodies, so this was an interesting but tasty surprise.
This last dish was the dish of the day for me! Higado de pollo – chicken livers with a parsley salad (£6.75). The livers were cooked perfectly pink and so, so tender! The parsley salad with capers and red onion, added a completely different dimension to the livers. There was a slight hint of heat in the salad, I’m not sure where that came from, but it complimented the livers perfectly! I could have eaten the whole plate on my own and it’s is right up there with my mom’s chicken livers! (And that is saying something! Because everyone knows that no one beats mom’s cooking!)
The service was friendly and pretty efficient. But with most of the waiting staff being Spanish (I think to add authenticity), there were moments of confusion. Nothing serious enough to ruin our day though!
Individual dishes are pretty reasonable, but the bill quickly adds up when you add alcohol! The bill for 4 people came to £180, we drank A LOT and I think this could be significantly reduced if you didn’t enjoy the sangria as much as we did!
Overall, a really enjoyable experience! Great food, good service…and boy, what a view…!!
Until we eat again!