The Crossrail station at Canary Wharf is, according to the former’s official website, “the most progressed” of all the shiny new stops. Its feet have been felt firmly on the ground since 2015 when the terranean parts, sheltered by its Silent Running roof, presented a smorgasbord of micro-chain venues and the odd shop to the public.
But it will be in December 2018 that the impact of this new artery is felt, at least for serious diners up east.
Among the things the dear old Liz Line (as she'll doubtless become in the intervening period) brings to our beloved east London estate is a fresh pipeline, an injection of something as old and established as her namesake.
For, while the Wharf is better now than it has ever been as a dining destination, its lack of restaurants at the very top end endures.
Fast forward just over a year though, and Wharf workers will be within 11 minutes of Fitzrovia, Soho and Oxford Street with no sweaty fumbling of a change at Bond Street.
Crossrail delivers the best of both worlds – corporate beavering in the manicured east with the option of plunging headlong into the saucy, vibrant backstreets at speed to seek diamonds in the rough.
For this particular gem you’ll need to rub the genie out of your credit card and insist on a boost to your upper credit limit.
Pied A Terre celebrates a quarter of a century in September. And it’s the place to go for that certain something you cannot get in E14.
Tom Aikens may have cut his teeth at this Michelin-starred cubby hole but his dilute outposts in Wapping and the Wharf are water-heavy squash to its potent fresh juices.
Then again, they’re not offering a 10-course tasting menu for £145 (£235 with wines).
That premium is justified, though, by the complex and exactingly executed food of current head chef Andy McFadden and the faultless service.
Somehow, the venue’s cramped and sweaty box of a kitchen puts out plates that both stun the eyes and convey a sense of warmth and homely comfort.
This is not a place of test tubes or pipettes but spatulas and mandolins. Honest cooking that has no use for foppish French flicks on its menu or pompous waiting.
Its frills-lite approach also means the simple, clean flavours of dishes like crab with lardo, fennel and elderflower or John Dory with pink grapefruit, miso butter, black quinoa and brassicas are sufficient to make you forget you’re in an awkward little front room eavesdropping on uncomfortably adjacent couples.
It's a bright space, but chilly initially until the sommelier (who has a jovial way about him that would make Michael McIntyre appear staid and withdrawn) gets a few glasses down everybody and the fear of faux pas is replaced by the gentle uninterested murmur of bonhommie.
Pied A Terre may have dropped down to a single Michelin star, but there’s a well-worn confidence about the place, an assured performance.
And the chef’s menu is worth the cash for the extraordinary Lavington lamb alone, a dish that manages to convey all the springboard bounce of a young sheep making a meadow debut in each tender, succulent bite.
The atmosphere won’t be to all tastes, perhaps, but it’s comforting to think when Liz is turned on, food of this calibre will be that little bit closer to our eastern blocks.
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