Its hard to find a perfectly romantic and sophisticated restaurant thats also relaxed and intimate enough to have an enjoyable yet unique evening. Boisdales however, does just that. With the live music from Jordan marsh’s rockin’ three. ‘Blame it on the boogie.’ The rich red walls and a view of neighbouring Canary Wharf’s highrise buildings. Boisdales offers the opportunity to step back in time where meals stretch out over and an entire evening and soaking up your companions conversations is a sheer pleasure. Buried in the center of Canary Wharf, this london restaurant takes you away from the city. The large spacious dining area opens up to reveal a stage set for the live music that will accompany your evening meal.
Classic crisp white tablecloths, single stick candles and a singular rose to each table contrasts and yet compliments the quirky tartan features. The staff either wear a kilt or tartan tie that matches the carpets and chair upholstery, fully encompassing the scottish theme.
The menu is mostly made up of classic scottish fish and meat dishes, with the odd exception. Indian Chicken curry with fragrant rice, nestled on the mains list in between salmon and wild venison dishes for example.
My companions and I went for the traditional fish starters, choosing the seared isle of Mull diver caught scallops, devonshire crab and avocado and the wonderfully named menage a trois consisting of oak smoked salmon, crab and dill cured gravadlax. Each dish was equally delicious; the scallops, served with cauliflower puree, spicy chorizo sausage and parsley oil were wonderfully soft with a melt in the mouth quality. The crab and avocado, served with a celeriac and apple remoulade, focacci and olive oil sippets. had a strong flavour but contrasting soft texture. The menage a trois also followed the theme of beautiful flavour and a rich but soft texture.
As every good meal deserves, an exquisite wine accompaniment, and the la rosa reserve 2007, was just that, joining our starter course perfectly, complimenting the fish dishes surprisingly well.
Further into the evening, the lights dimmed and the live band delivered a mixture of older songs such as ‘blue moon’ and newer hits including ‘I need a dollar.’ Creating a soft and relaxing atmosphere.The main course came to us in a nice time frame, just long enough to finish the bottle of la rosa and order something a little different in the form of a Grand reserve Malbec 2011. For the main dish I stuck with the seafood theme going for the Wester ross Salmon and a side of new potatoes. The salmon was presented crispy skin and caper side up, hiding its pink flesh on a bed of aubergine. It was a unique combination that worked well together. My companions went in different directions, one staying in the seafood arena with the chargrilled lobster, with garlic, parsley and chilli butter. Giving him the wonderful task of crushing the shell and prising out the succulent lobster meat, much to his sticky fingered delight!
To my right, my other companion opted for the long braised shoulder of blackface lamb, served straight from its own individual brass pan right on the table in front of us. The butter beans and greens waterfalled on to the plate, leaving the lamb swimming in a flavourful broth, the meat departing from the bone of its own tender accord.
Three clean plates, three glasses of wine and several melodic tunes later we were all thoroughly enjoying ourselves and settled into the evening, pouring over the dessert menus delights. we selected a creme caramel, rhubarb and apple crumble with ice cream and the cheese board. Satisfying my sweet tooth perfectly the creme caramel was a beautiful end to the meal. The rhubarb crumble delivered on its promised classic flavours and was well presented in its own cosy ceramic dish.
The cheese selection was brought to the table for visual teasing and selection, the choice was wide and varied. The stinking bishop bringing about an interesting dinner time conversation to our group! The cheese was accompanied with various crackers, oat biscuits, breads, pear and honey.
A final Digestif cocktail to finish off the evening and although the selected Martell VSOP, Tanqueray, Grancia rossa, Grand Marnier was a little strong for my tastes my companions certainly helped me finish it off.
We finished the evening soaking up the final notes floating across from the stage and eventually stepped out into the fresh london evening but not before wandering through the cigar lounge and the downstairs bar, where the atmosphere was far more electric and alive. This area contrasted to upstairs and promise an evening with a much different dynamic.
Boisdales offers an old school romanticism that would be perfect for a first date or equally a group of friends for a warm and cosy evening dining with loved ones. Although we were thoroughly entertained by a group of male’s appearing to have come straight from the office, falling upon each other in a rugby scrum like action. So perhaps a venue equally well suited to after work drinks and birthday parties alike.
Upon leaving we meandered through the picturesque scenery of canary wharf and discussed the delights of the evening. We revelled in the good food, wine and ambiance of the beautifully uniquely themed scottish restaurant with jazz and soul, Boisdales.
If you fancy something more, then why not try
ROBERT ELMS PRESENTS: SOUL FRIDAYS
AT BOISDALE CANARY WHARF
Writer, broadcaster, BBC London’s top DJ and soul music champion Robert Elms presents ‘Soul Fridays’ at Boisdale Canary Wharf.
From 21st February 2014, Canary Wharf’s only live music venue will feature some of the UK’s best soul singers and bands every Friday night. Elms’ extensive knowledge of the UK soul scene and his great enthusiasm for the music has enabled Boisdale to source some fantastic live entertainment.
Highlights in the programme include Wayne Hernandez (a first choice vocalist for stars such as Tina Turner, Gorillaz, Tori Amos, Blur, Roberta Flack and Madonna), and Louise Claire Marshall from Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.
Tributes to Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding. Kool and The Gang, Stevie Wonder and James Brown will also feature throughout the series, as well as some of the UK’s leading soul bands, including The Soul Jets, The Soul Immigrants and The Leo Green Experience.
By Samantha Ava Grace