Food review: Ink, Mile End
Martyn Meid can cook. No question of that. His debut on my radar at The Dock Seafood Restaurant proved it.
Despite his departure that remains an attractive proposition; keenly priced and well turned out, but struggles as it's a whisker off Wharfers' beaten tracks.
Poor footfall is the cancer that withers restaurants in this part of the world. Camino saw the writing and quit to fight another day.
And that's barely five minutes' walk from One Canada Square.
So what possessed Meid to set up shop for himself in the wilds of Mile End, in a space accessed by park, then footbridge and an unexpected turn back on oneself is beyond me.
Footfall's gone from poor to non-existent. Ink occupies more or less the ground floor of some fictitious new development plopped into one of the grimmer slices of the East End. At least it's on the canal.
Why developers believe stapling amenities to their plans is any guarantee of success is a mystery. Sure, all the flats are sold but we were one of two tables.
And Ink, for all its positives, is not a place to eat each and every night. Meid's not one for warming staples. He's a creator of art.
His spare and complex plates are often jewels. Very reasonably priced too.
Special mentions go to a burnt cucumber and a pate that despite being impossibly dull on the eyes turned out to be one of the best starters I'd had this year.
A main of pork belly was woefully under seasoned though despite its seared veg. Should do better.
Perhaps Meid will when the minimal space bustles. Unfortunately that's an if contingent on Londoners getting better at reading maps. Don't hold your breath.
Ink, Suttons Wharf South, 44 Palmers Road, London, E2 0TA, 020 8983 6634.