One Canada Square is the original Canary Wharf tower, and still the tallest of the bunch there, with the winking light on top of the building visible for miles around. I have fond memories of working in the building, and always found the vast, marble-clad lobby to be impressive, rather than soulless, as some seem to find it. The fact that one can imagine the climactic “lobby scene” from the Matrix unfolding there merely enhances its impressiveness. Like it or not, it is vast anyway, and ETM Group (owners of leading London gastropubs such as the Gun) have managed to squeeze in a sizeable restaurant and bar into one corner. This is a somewhat TARDIS-like interior, over 3 floors, seemingly much larger on the inside than on the outside.
On entering, you do feel that you’ve travelled through time (to the 1920s,) if not space, with the building lobby still visible. The interior, designed by David Collins Studio, is beautiful and elegant, with great attention to detail, and clever use of space. The main bar and restaurant occupy the ground floor, with a lovely smaller mezzanine bar up a couple of flights of stairs. The restaurant is nothing if not ambitious, seeking to provide a very different ambience and menu to other Wharf restaurants. The head chef, Jamie Dobbin (formerly of the Club at the Ivy,) has put together distinctive menus, including an excellent Saturday brunch selection. This American influenced menu includes such items as buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, and twists on traditional brunch dishes such as my order that day, the soft shell crab eggs benedict.
The dish delivers in a big way, with the lightly spiced crab complementing the smooth poached eggs and hollandaise beautifully. The crab tasted fresh and not overly pungent, with the chilli adding just enough kick. This is a great brunch item, and a welcome variation on the standard eggs benedicts to be found anywhere else in the Wharf.
One of the must-have items from the brunch menu is the delicious, and addictive, cronut, made to a recipe developed by chef Jamie and still being tweaked by him. After you’ve tried sharing one with your brunch partner, no less than a whole one will do.
Attentive and friendly service throughout completed a great brunch experience, without doubt the best Saturday brunch in Canary Wharf, and probably as good as any in London.