It is less than two weeks and I am back in the ‘Metropolis’ aka Canary Wharf, it may be East London, however this deep secure labyrinth, complete with alert security detail and numerous cameras is devoid of the generic bearded hipster, instead I’m breathing the same sterile air as the nouveau Chinese and indigenous black cab drivers. The purpose of this visit was to check out the Boisdale, a Scottish –themed restaurant renowned for its live music – jazz and blues enthusiast Jools Holland is the patron of music.
The Boisdale, Canary Wharf is part of the Boisdale group; dining and music venues with branches in Belgravia and Bishopsgate. To access the Canary Wharf site you take the lift to upper level one in Cabot Place and follow the signs, the tartan carpet indicates your arrival. Once you enter the cavernous Art Deco building the feeling of arriving in another dimension is apparent. The Boisdale’s interior, think Scottish gentleman’s club: rich red lacquered walls, mounted stag head, mahogany panels, tartan upholstered seats and the ubiquitous tartan carpet. While the overall vibe is reminiscent of a jazz club from a bygone era – which is in stark contrast to the futuristic surroundings of Cabot Place.
On our visit we (hubby and I)were escorted up to the second floor restaurant, past the first floor which comprises of a bar, grill and terrace. We kick-started our evening with Old Fashions made with Colombian rum: the low sugar content lends itself well with all the key ingredients.
Oysters appear to be a firm favourite for the Boisdale clientèle, and the distinctive smell of this famed aphrodisiac clung in the air. Not brave enough to try oysters we opted instead for Smoked Salmon and Smoked Mackerel for starters and continued down the pescatarian route with our mains: hubby inadvertently went full –blown winter warmer with his choice of Haddock, Cod & Quail’s Eggs; I kept it light with Prawns, Avocado & Lentil Salad – both dishes were nicely seasoned and perfectly pleasant.
During our courses we were entertained by new Warner Bros. signing, Si Cranstoun who was billed as a Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke hybrid, I could not hear the comparison myself, not to say that Si didn’t have a good voice – he did, along with great stage presence. Our fellow diners certainly lapped it up; by the time our desserts arrived: Baked Bourbon Vanilla Chessecake served with a refreshing strawberry sorbet (for hubby); and the sinfully rich Valrhona Chocolate & Salted Caramel Marquise (for me); most of the diners were doing their own distinct version of the twist, jive and other pre-1970’s dances.
Si was certainly good value for money, going by the flushed satisfied faces of our danced –out fellow diners; some even formed an orderly queue for signed CDs.
Since neither of us smoke we did not conclude the evening with a Boisdale Cuban cigar and whisky, if you are partial to the aforementioned then enjoy these guilty pleasures either on the terrace or in the library.
The Boisdale’s fresh seasonal menu, extensive choice of whiskies and live entertainment make for a great evening.
Price –£142.45 (excluding service) – pretty good value for money considering the generous portions and live entertainment.
Service – It seemed to take a while to be seated at our table, however once seated the service was efficient.
Ambience – The live music along with the very appreciative audience made for an entertaining evening .
Bathroom –5/5 clean and spacious.
For reservations and further information including details of the Boisdale’s Summer Superstar Series: a mid –week celebratory tribute to past music legends, please visit: www.boisdale.co.uk