I caught up with a friend from uni last Friday evening after work. We both work in Canary Wharf, and although we’d been meaning to meet for the last couple of months, she could never get out of work at a reasonable time to have a sit-down meal or drinks together (ah, the glamorous investment banking life).
On this occasion she actually managed to have a free-ish Friday evening and we finally caught up. She is a massive foodie so I suggested we go to Boisdale at Cabot Place which we both had heard good things about but never tried. I also had a craving for a steak (sorry vegetarians), which must have factored in to this decision.
Boisdale is located on the first floor of Cabot Place, which is a three-minute walk from Canary Wharf DLR station, and overlooks the fountains at Cabot Square (which is where I normally like to sit and have my lunch, during the week). There’s also a nice view of the City of London skyline on the other side of the river if you manage to get the right seats.
The overarching theme is modern British fine dining with an emphasis on Scottish ingredients. The ambience and interiors certainly reinforce this theme nicely, with a decor that is heavy with dark reds and greens, complete with tartan chairs and plaid-covered walls that scream Scotland. Tables are candlelit in the evenings and various portraits and pieces of artwork decorate most of the inside of the restaurant. The bar and a brightly-lit, fully-stocked wall of whisky definitely caught my attention when walking in. The Whisky menu covers an extensive range of Scotch whisky labels and other spirits, but on this occasion I skipped the hard liquor.
The menu: Highlights include seafood from the coasts of Scotland and the British isles, steaks, and traditional Scottish fare like haggis (a type of minced meat pudding encased in a boiled sheep’s stomach).
We had drinks before dinner and weren’t feeling hungry enough for anything more than a main course. I ended up ordering the 7oz tournedos fillet done medium rare, which was a cut from Aberdeenshire and had been dry aged for 21 days. Boisdale claims this to be the ‘most tender of all [their] steaks’. The waitress recommended garlic butter for a sauce which I went along with, and also got some mashed potatos for a side.
I couldn’t complain, it really was a tender cut, and cooked perfectly. On it’s own, the steak was flavourful enough but drizzling garlic butter over it only enhanced the taste. Mashed potatoes were decent but nothing extraordinary, although they were light and fluffy which is how I like it.
My friend went for the Roast Dumfriesshire Blackface haggis, which was accompanied with mashed potatoes and bashed neeps (a kind of roast turnip, the traditional sidekick to a haggis). I had a bite of her dish, and it tasted as good as it looked. We had a glass of Bordeaux (the Boisdale Claret Red 2015) each, which was decently priced and went well with our meaty dishes.
This place also promises good live music, and we managed to catch a glimpse of the jazz band just as we were leaving. The restaurant was a little empty for a Friday evening, but I’m sure that during the rest of the week the venue is much livelier and has a nice buzz about it.
The steaks are a little pricey for the portion size, but it’s forgivable given this is a high-end joint and the quality more than compensated for it. The service, like the atmosphere on this evening, was very warm and accommodating yet efficient.
My experience at Boisdale warranted a return visit, and the next time I come back I’m definitely trying something from the Scotch menu and the cigar library.
To view a full list of menus and book a table, click here.
Boisdale of Canary Wharf
Cabot Place, Canary Wharf
London, E14 4QT