Tom’s Kitchen – Canary Wharf

8th September 2013
I moved to the UK 14 years ago and in the first couple of years of living in London, I met Toni – or teeny tiny Toni as I call her as she’s only 5ft nothing.  She’s the first English friend I made, from the East end of London and a more interesting character you would be hard to find. I don’t see enough of her. In fact, nearly 2 years has passed since I last saw her! Our catch ups have usually been a quick one hour lunch during the week here and there, but because it had been so long we decided to meet up on a Saturday for a proper catch up. We opted to meet in Canary Wharf as it’s in the middle for both of us. Not much goes on in the Wharf on a weekend; all the big banks moved out there about 6 years ago and it’s a place people go to work, not to socialise. Saying that though, there are some fantastic restaurants in the area and it was this that helped make the decision to meet at Canary Wharf.
Tom’s Kitchen is the third British brasserie from celebrated chef Tom Aikens. Located in Westferry Circus, the restaurant feels huge with the floor to ceiling windows letting the light flood in, and with the outside al-fresco area I am sure it must get absolutely packed on a nice sunny day during the week. On a Saturday afternoon however, it was only about a third full. Strangely, we were seated right next to a family when there were at least a dozen other tables we could’ve been seated at.  It took us quite some time to even look at the menu, as I’ve said we hadn’t seen each other in a long time and there was a lot to catch up on. I’ve heard the breakfast and all day brunch menu is really good, but by this time it was well into the afternoon and when we saw our neighbours order the charcuterie board (£13.50 per person), we decided to order that to tide us over. On the board was pork rillettes, smoked duck, Bayonne ham, big fat juicy capers and the best foie gras parfait I have ever had! It was smooth and rich yet light.  There were also three different types of bread – white, wholemeal and what I think may have been a brioche. It was a really generous portion and all very tasty, but I can’t help feeling slightly ripped off. This is the first time I have seen a sharing platter that has been charged per person. So while the portions were a good size, it seemed really expensive for what it was.
A second bottle of wine was ordered; most of the wines also come in carafes, which is a great option, but not for two girls who had a lot of gossip to get through!
The charcuterie board  filled us up so we decided to order another sharing platter instead of a main meal each, this time we went for the fish platter (£12.50 per person). This board had 2 fishcakes, marinated salmon and anchovies. The menu online advertised that there was also smoked mackerel, but none appeared on our platter (I didn’t realise until I looked back at the picture this morning, but never mind!) Not as generous as the meat platter, but all elements were nice. Again, expensive for what it was. As we were a cocktail and two bottles of wine down already, we ordered some chips to go with it. Classy, eh? Crunchy and seasoned perfectly, I can’t say too much more about a portion of chips! 

Service was attentive and even though we must’ve become quite loud and annoying, our waiter remained charming. Our total bill for 2 champagne cocktails, 2 bottles of wine and 2 sharing platters came to £148.50 including service. I would be interested in trying some of the other dishes (when I am more sober!)  but I have to say that I am a little put off by the price tag!

Next up, I am attending an event hosted by a dear friend of mine at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. I am really excited to be ticking off another restaurant on my ever-growing bucket list.
Until we eat again!

Square Meal Tom's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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