Food review: Valentine's Day Menu at The Gun, Docklands
Valentines Day Menu 2014 The Gun, Coldharbour, Docklands
Valentine's Day. All so often a time for cliches, corny statements and chocolate.
I've not been struck by Cupid's arrow this particular February - opting to share The Gun's extravagant five-course menu with a friend instead.
But I'm happy to report that this V-Day combo can easily match the strength of a beating heart.
While I'm on the point of extrovert displays of sickly-sweet affection, don't expect tables adorned with confetti hearts.
This chic Docklands gastro-pub is all about elegance and tradition, the perfect setting to spend a sophisticated February 14.
The only neon red you'll see here is that of the keta caviar surrounding the plate of salmon.
And whether you're the lucky couple choosing to spend the evening in the pub's exclusive River Room (£455 for the pair) or downstairs in the rustic, homely restaurant surroundings, you're in for a night to remember.
The show-stoppingly elegant plates of food began with roast salsify veloute, topped with shavings of carbonated apple surrounding an island of a cinnamon donut.
Opposites attract, they say. And the luxurious creaminess of the soup balanced perfectly with the delicate sugary shards of fruit.
But the pocket-sized treat usually reserved for dessert was the star, offering a gentle warming hit of spice and sweet homeliness.
The perfect pairings continued with the sensibly-sized second and third dishes, as candied pear successfully enhanced a creamy cannelloni and fresh, earthy broccoli puree, while blowtorched salmon created a crispiness that partnered well with hearty rainbow beets.
Whether you're a veggie or meat-eater, the final savoury offering of venison or lentil and swede Wellington, with heritage veg and a cylinder of pressed spuds offers comfort and glowing warmth.
Then it's time to do battle with the Other Half over the light but oh-so-luxurious chocolate fudge cake, the delicate flavours and creaminess of a passion fruit creme brulee and a dark, inviting coffee mousse.
The desserts were all sprinkled with dehydrated raspberries, (who knew the delicate dots could pack in so much flavour?) meringue and placed atop a rustic board, home-made plinths and a straw nest.
Beauty may well be in the eye of the beholder, but the presentation of the quintet of dishes - finished with chunks of dark chocolate and financier petit fours - rocketed well off the handsome scale. And how successful was the underpinning trait of pairing fruit with veg, sweet with savoury in each dish? A match made in heaven.
The Gun's Valentine's Day menu costs £50 per person for five courses including coffee/tea and petit fours.
The Gun, Coldharbour, Docklands, London, E14 9NS, 020 7515 5222.
Go to thegundocklands.com