Guest Feature by Natalie York:
Heading up to Plateau in Canary Wharf its hard not to feel a little overwhelmed, sitting at the top of Canada Place with its own private lift to ferry diners in the most glamourous surroundings, the restaurant looks over to One Canada Square Tower. The skyline certainly is breathtaking and the design maximizes on that with pretty much every table getting a good view. Whilst you can dine at the bar or the grill we opted to eat in the main restaurant, a spare and modern room with white, molded furniture and giant, slightly surreal free standing floor lamps that lower over the diners like minimalist aliens. The cuisine is modern French with the same clean, streamlined feel that defines the space visually and a focus showcasing the very best ingredients which really pays off.
To start I went for half a dozen Colchester oysters with shallot vinegar and lemon. The Romans famously said that Colchester Oysters were the only good thing to come out of the rainy island of Britain but I would say if that’s all they got then it was still worth the invasion! Here they were perfectly fresh and just chilled enough, I had vinegar and lemon with the first two but after that I abandoned the accompaniments and just went straight for the oysters which stood on their own feet quite happily with each mouthful like a little taste of the ocean. After I had wolfed down my oysters (I got through them all in under five minutes easily) I tried a little of my friend Katia’s starter: foie gras with muscat grapes, crystallised pistachios and toasted brioche. This was gorgeously creamy and very light with the sharp grapes cutting through the rich pate perfectly.
Continuing on to the main course I went for roast grouse with chips, bread sauce and watercress and red wine sauce. The grouse was very pungent and gamey, which I like, with a crispy, indulgent skin and dark, savoury flesh, the bread sauce provided just the right amount of balancing creaminess to contrast with the strong game. The chips were little lattices of potato which reminded me a little of very posh crinkle cut chips, they were cooked to perfection, a light golden brown with a crunchy texture that avoided being too oily. Katia instead plumped for a fillet of aged beef served with girolle mushrooms in a Burgundy wine sauce. By this point I was too full to snaffle any of hers but I was assured that the steak was seared perfectly and very rare, just how she likes it.
By the time we got to dessert we were both pretty stuffed so we decided to share, going for the cannoli with mango sorbet and mousse. There was easily enough here for both of us with the bittersweet cannoli breaking apart with a perfect snap. The mango mouse was light and delicate but my favourite was the sorbet which served as a sharp and refreshing end to a pretty full-on dinner.
At Plateau the ingredients definitely take centre stage, you can taste the quality and freshness in every dish and the thought and skill that goes into presenting them to the best advantage is immediately obvious. The whole experience of dining there feels very special with an elegant yet friendly atmosphere and undoubtedly one of the best views in London, I can’t wait to go back!