Le Bab Canary Wharf
Eating food in the east of London is diversifying.
Although London seems to clump together in ethnic groups depending on the area, breaking out the diversity (as with most things) is a good thing. In particular, when Canary Wharf has moved to widen its selection of eateries, much applause must follow.
Importing ideas from the Far East, they have now set up several food halls on the premises, which has the benefit of allowing you to try many different cuisines and avoid arguments with fellow diners about what to eat. This is how I ended up with a kebab whereas others venomously oppose this idea. Diversity is also good to avoid arguments.
Lamb adana, free range lamb, chimichurri, herb labneh, lamb jus, sweet pickles, cassava crisps, coriander, mint and fries. The lamb was deliciously soft and flavourful, the green sauce and pickles a nice complement, the cassava crisps an inspired addition and the bab on the bottom excellent. Speaking specifically to the bab, it was light, chewy and bouncy. Just what I wanted. The chips on the side were ok but stood pale beside the bab.
Seems like many other things from the Far East, London has imported some of the best elements. First it was baos, then xiao loong baos, then bubble tea. Now it is fun and spontaneous food courts. You can turn up spontaneously without a booking, any plans and just spend time surveying the selection on offer.
Debate over various options and combinations. Dither over fried chicken or healthy salad. Be a man (or woman) and make your choice. In this buzzing atmosphere where you find your own seat and a horde of other hungry punters chow down. I say punters, as going to a food court is a bit of a gamble about the food, availability of seats and if you need to share a table, the hygiene of your hitherto unknown dining companion. So this is the place to be if you exhilarate in risks (like my dining companion) yet not so much for someone who my friends have called “Mr Exciting”.
If instead you buck against your nickname and prefer life to be boring, it might not be your cup of tea. So although the food was decent, the atmosphere good for some (but not me), the price was a bit dear. Could have had a similar round the corner for half the price.
Then again, if I did that, I would have to put up with a rather grumpy dining companion. So perhaps I will take my victories where I can find them.
A quieteating 7.5/10.
Dinner (1 course) was GBP13 excluding drinks and service.
25 N Colonnade,
London, E14 5HD