Food review: The Gun
Al fresco dining can be a struggle in London and with weather forecasters getting our hopes up, a summer of charcoal fuelled meals outdoors looked to be on the cards.
As June promised to be a scorcher, staff at The Gun must have been jumping at the chance to man the Blackwall pub's Portuguese style barbecue A Grelha.
Despite a blue sky morning, ominous grey clouds were gathering as we arrived for dinner.
There was a private function going on and hardy diners had decided they wanted to brave the elements so, having already cancelled once, due to unwelcome storms, we took the plunge.
We need not have worried, signature cocktail The Artillery, a blend of ginger, honey, bourbon and apple juice took the edge off the nippy air.
Overlooking the Thames with The O2 in the background, there is a definite holiday vibe about the place.
Our starters of Portuguese salt cod croquettes and clams cooked in white wine, garlic, chilli, coriander and lemon arrived promptly and the simple presentation and structure of the dishes belied the sophisticated tastes. Both were fresh and bursting with layers of flavour.
All food is cooked to order and the fish is hand picked daily at Billingsgate Market, meaning the main menu varies and the price changes according to size.
I opted for golden bream which seasoned and almost sliding off its bones.
My first-time fish filleting skills were obvious to the staff who offered assistance as a big brolly was put over our table to catch the drizzle now too heavy to ignore.
Giant Madagascan king prawns were also a hit. Although these looked like a small portion compared to my main course, there were plenty to go round.
A Grelha feels like a proper home from home barbie without one of your party having to suffer over the coals.
Food is served in metal dishes or on rustic wooded boards and generous bowls of salad and potatoes are ideal for sharing and dipping.
Many of the dishes on the menu make for perfect laid back dining.
The only disappointment was the dessert. The limited options of a chocolate mousse or strawberries and cream, were in keeping with the mood of the meal and fairly reasonably priced at £4.50 and £5.50 price but I would have liked to have had more variety.
A Grelha only opens in fine weather but you can get updates at twitter.com/agrelha_thegun.
Braving a bit of precipitation did not spoil our experience, however, a sun soaked summer day would certainly do more to convince diners a little bit of the Algarve had taken root in the Docklands.
This is really one to plan for when the forecaster ha
s spread little suns all over the south east, rather than something to leave to chance.
During the week, lunch time diners from Canary Wharf and Isle of Dogs can get a complimentary cab to the restaurant.
The Gun, 27 Coldharbour, London,
E14 9NS, 020 7515 5222,