So many restaurants in and around Canary Wharf leave you guessing with their names.
Roka (tables that need a wedge of paper?), Plateau (cooking that never goes beyond a certain level?), The Big Easy (let’s just say his name is George and there’s a lot of him to love), Rocket (dishes hot enough to make you blast off?). I could go on.
So when Burger And Lobster opened across the water on West India Quay I felt prepared to face a simple choice between red and white meat.
Better still, it was easy to find. Straight over the floating green bridge and marked with a prominent sign, no faffing with Google Maps was necessary to locate its large outdoor terrace.
It has its own bar so there’s no need to schlep inside if all you want is a drink and we started the night with a Banana Daiquiri (a must, by the way)
Then we were handed the menu, a delicate cream creation containing only 10 items and four specials. An easy choice seemed guaranteed.
But the only aid to our decision was the indication whether each dish came “with chips” or “with chips and salad”.
How were we supposed to know what the Dickens The Qyay’lo was or whether we would be able to stomach The Beast Burger?
Answers were needed.
Thankfully our waitress was close at hand and gave us a full rundown, enabling us to chose the perfectly-sized and wonderfully zesty Seven Samuray Roll and the extremely meaty Original Burger, which turned out to be a mouth-aching seven inches high.
As the evening went on we were flanked by a couple who appeared to be on their first date, a duo of very dolled up young ladies and a pair of old friends (one of whom was very late).
Each and every one went through the same motions of poring over the menu, giving up on deciphering it and asking the waitress for help.
At first this seemed ridiculous, bad time management and a chore for the staff who had to go over the same thing again and again.
But then a realisation dawned. We were all actually talking to the staff, chatting to them as human beings, not just giving them orders.
I had already developed a strange feeling or affection for our waitress who patiently checked on us three times before we were ready to order.
Perhaps this is just a cunning ploy to increase tips but I’m hoping there is a more subtle psychology at work.
So often we in Canary Wharf rush through our day, wanting everything yesterday.
But here at the brand’s first restaurant with an outdoor terrace, the staff seemed to be reminding us that slowing down and asking for help was OK.
I’ll help their cause by not describing the food any further other than to say I definitely made the right choice.
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