Riverside suits us, says Camino boss
Spanish-themed restaurant Camino is opening in Canary Wharf next month to bring some south European flavour to Westferry.
The arrival sees managing director Richard Bigg expand his brand on the back of the successful three-year old venue at Kings Cross.
Food tasting for bar staff and the restaurant's builders has already begun ahead of the planned launch on September 15 and Richard said he could not wait to open to the public.
He said: "It's a cracking site right on the river. We've seen Gaucho and the China Palace do well there and we're really looking forward to it."
The area saw the failure of Jamie's, then the Lower East Liquor Bar last year, but Richard has no qualms about Camino succeeding, despite being outside the Canary Wharf estate.
"I know Tom and Ed [Martin] at The Gun on the east side and they have no trouble in getting people over there. We're not far away from the Tube station and I'm sure people will head over."
Richard also knows those behind other recent Wharf arrivals, including Roca, Wahaca and Parlour and sounded them out over the area.
"It's all positive," he said. "We know about the type of people who live and work there.
There's a lot of retail and busy at the weekend. It's a great area to be in."
The atmosphere inside will be "very lively, informal and fun", according to the MD.
Like its neighbour Gaucho, Camino is big on steaks, although with a different cooking style.
Richard said: "The perception of Spanish food is what people get on holiday in the Costas but there's a lot more to it than that.
"You often get double the rainfall of the British Isles in northern Spain and that's fantastic for the cattle. They grill the meat in charcoal."
Camino's steaks may not come from northern Spain - the group bring them in from Scotland - but are barbecued the Spanish way.
"It offers a huge improvement on the flavour," said Richard.
There will also be a variety of tapas, both traditional and contemporary, on offer.
Camino will go up against La Tasca and El Faro, and Richard sees the latter, based on the Isle of Dogs, as the biggest competition.
However, he is confident offering something unique to the area.
"El Faro is very good but we're right on the river and the Camino concept is going strong," he said.
"Our first site at Kings Cross restaurant has been going for three years and getting busier all the time. Here it's got extra opportunity for outside eating. Although, we'll be hoping for an Indian summer."