There seems to be a lot of restaurants in the Canary Wharf area. And one of the very best has to be the Manhattan Grill. Don’t do what we did and head for Canary Wharf station, head instead for West India Quay station a mere spitting distance away.
I often shy away from hotel restaurants, but this one is a hotel restaurant with a difference. It has its own separate entrance and identity to the Marriott hotel to which it connects.
The wind and rain that evening nearly blew us into the restaurant but without turning a hair at the two bedraggled diners our sodden coats were taken and we were ushered into the warmth and comfort of this stylish restaurant and seated at a window table overlooking the Quay and from which I could also keep an eye on the open plan kitchen, whilst my friend was able to gaze longingly at the state of the art Enomatic Wine Dispenser near the main entrance.
‘Would you like a glass of wine?’ asked our delightful waiter Cemal. Of course we would. Instead of a huge wine list we were escorted to that wine dispenser, whilst Cemal chatted away knowledgably about the wines giving us tastings till we found wines that were really happy with. It is all part of the service, no extra charge!
Equally Cemal advised that as we didn’t know what to order for our first course he would bring us one of the tasting dishes to share. And what a tasting dish – seared scallops on cauliflower puree, king prawns, pork belly and crab cake.
Whilst you can choose other main dishes the Manhattan Grill is primarily a steak house, so we went with the flow and ordered steaks – the American steak for my friend the Scottish Aberdeen Angus for me. We cut each other slices of our respective steaks – both perfectly cooked and quite delicious. The chips were great too!
Neither my pud-adoring friend nor I could even manage to share one of the desserts, though we noticed other diners could. But we did manage coffee and whilst we were drinking it, Henning Kramer, the charming restaurant manager, came over to chat and tell us about some of the tasting events they are planning for the main hotel bar. The Marriott and its Manhattan Grill is certainly the place to watch.
With steaks coming in at £19 – £34 and starters up to £13 the Manhattan Grill is not the place for every evening dining for most of us. But for a special occasion or just as the most wonderful treat it is where we are heading for. A.H.
Manhattan Grill Steak Restaurant Canary Wharf, 22 Hertsmere Road, London E14 4ED. Tel: 020 7517 2808. www.manhattangrill.co.uk