4th Floor Canada Place,
Firstly, it's quite exciting going to Plateau - with it’s very own lift button that takes you straight out into their reception – like staying in a penthouse suite or a baddies' lair in a Bond film. There are two areas: the main bar & grill, and the restaurant. All of it is completely glass-fronted and looks over and indeed up at Canary Wharf in all its glory. It feels a lot like being in New York - no old London town here - just a tall steel and glass jungle. Brilliant.
When we visited on a Wednesday evening, the bar was suitably buzzy and we started off with an expertly mixed cocktail, and then headed off to one of the most civilised smoking areas in London. Yes, I know it’s terrible and bad and we should all be herded outdoors in the rain and have people throw rotten tomatoes at us, but smokers are human too, and this restaurant is high up. If they made you go all the way back down (which isn’t even outdoors - it’s a shopping centre), many wouldn’t make it back up again. Anyway it’s lovely, with a roof and tables and chairs and heaters and everything.
When we took our seats in the restaurant (all white and glass again) it was about half full. We thought it was that dreaded R-word but no sooner had we busied ourselves with some oysters to share, the whole place was rammed with people. Recession I thought, what recession?! The expense scandal clearly stops at Westminster. Due to all the glass and modern tables & chairs, the restaurant is quite noisy, but in a great, lively way. Definitely an NYC vibe, I could literally have been Ms Bradshaw out with Big.
My starter was a real winner – scallop & prawn roulade with black sesame seeds and celeriac puree. I could have eaten it all again - absolutely faultless. Over the other side of the table, the game terrine was really lifted by the Pinot Noir it had been matched with. I’m not normally a terrine fan but kept dipping in and slurping away whilst ferociously guarding my precious prawns.
Onto the main event, I was really tempted by the Blackface lamb selection. I don’t know why I didn’t order it, but no matter. I’d chosen the tiger prawn taglioni with chilli and crab bisque which was very, very good, especially the bisque. However, I was royally trumped after my starter success by the beef Wellington across the way. In the words of the grumpy judge on Strictly Come Dancing: “Fab U Lous”. The Castle Mey beef was just outstanding and I am dribbling ever so slightly just thinking of it now. I never order Wellington because so often it is awful, soggy pastry and livery beef, but the gamble paid off for my other half on this occasion – winner winner winner!
We both felt able to tackle pudding, and were very impressed to see that for all the glass and modern frippery there was still room for a good old fashioned desert trolley. Well done Plateau, a retro touch in just the right place.
So, one course each and all to play for with the puddings. I went for shortbread, ricotta and tapioca cream, whilst the blue corner had Valrhona chocolate fondant. A somewhat obvious choice in my eyes, but actually small and perfectly chocolatey and melty in the middle. The shortbread was lighter than air and a perfect crispy accompaniment to the tapioca cream. It was my favourite of the puddings but I couldn’t get an agreement from the other side, so all in all a hung jury!
The menu is priced at £31 for two courses and £36.75 for three courses. Annoyingly they will then charge you almost £5 for some vegetables on the side. This would be the only tiny nit pick for what was an all round great evening. A slice of NYC fun in suited-and-booted Canary Wharf.
Plateau: 4th Floor Canada Place, Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5ER. Tel: 020 7715 7100.
Reviewer: Tara O'Reilly