Food Review: Manhattan Grill
IN A NUTSHELL
The Marriott West India Quay's new steak restaurant is finally unveiled. And it's been worth the wait.
Maybe it's the fault of the American banks that Canary Wharf is rapidly becoming the home of the steakhouse in London.
The arrival of Boisdale last year was followed by Goodman and Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote, each offering its own twist on the meat slab dish.
The popularity of the steakhouse concept is obvious now those ranks have been joined by Manhattan Grill at the Marriott West India Quay.
The hotel has more reason than most to focus on steaks as a vast number of its clients come from the land which gave us the cowboy.
But is the market saturated?
Well, this much talked about new arrival - the replacement for the fish-focused Curve restaurant - doesn't think so.
To the ambience first and gone is the whiteness of Curve and the overbearing and ultimately pointless bar by the doorway.
The walls are now covered in stylish and traditional wooden panels and the bar has been replaced with a "wine preservation system", a fancy gizmo that allows for tasters and fine Rothschild vintages by the glass.
Meanwhile, the outdoor seating area overlooking West India Dock is a welcome addition, crying out for a heatwave.
As for the food, under the guidance of new Mexican executive chef Damian Trejo, it seems the wait has been worth it.
The choice of steaks, cooked in a broiler at 650F, come from Creekstone Kansas USDA Black Angus and Scottish Aberdeen Angus. Prices range from £26 to £39, not including sides.
While those figures are high the quality matches them and the 14oz wing rib, served with a bourbon peppercorn sauce, was up there with the best in the area.
For a cheaper option go for the lunchtime specials - you can have a smaller two and three course selection for £15 and £18.
Other dishes, such as the roasted black cod and lamb rack, looked equally glorious on their way to the tables of fellow diners.
But it was away from the mains - and thanks to the direction of the professional staff - that we found a gem of a starter in the shape of some of the biggest king prawns I've seen served around these parts.
Enormous and incredibly tasty, they were served on a bed of ice with marie rose sauce, lemon and tabasco sauce (£10).
So is there room for more steak on the Wharf?
Judging by the tables that filled up around me on a Wednesday lunchtime there certainly seems no shortage of appetite.
Manhattan Grill, 22 Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4ED, 020 7517 2808, marriott.co.uk.