Canary wharf has been blessed with a new dining spot!
The newly opened Bōkan is located at the top of the Novotel hotel. It includes a restaurant, bar and roof terrace spanning across three floors. The food served is European inspired, but is made using British ingredients.
Upon entry at ground level, I was treated like a VIP. There was a warm welcome from all members of staff, from the reception, to the lift and into the main restaurant on the 37th floor. The view was also amazing! I could see the Tower of London in the distance and the amazing City of London skyline. But even looking around the restaurant I could see the level of detail that went into the décor – most of it was made up of wood, so a nice natural feel all round.
The menu is split into small and large plates, grilled dishes and a selection of sides. There’s also a separate charcuterie menu – where you can have a mixture of meats, cheeses and vegetables. Based on what I ate, I’d say you can share a few small plates between the group and then have a large plate or grilled dish each – you’ll still have room for dessert after too!
Sea Bass Carpaccio, Lime, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (£9.00) – seabass is in my list of top 3 fish to have. So naturally I couldn’t say no to this plate! Sadly though, I was left a little disappointed. The natural subtle flavour of the seabass was overwhelmed by the olive oil, or maybe I should say drenched. That, plus the mayo drizzled on top just made everything so oily, and there wasn’t enough lime juice to cut through it all. I did like the added poppy seeds though.
Crushed Pea & Mint Fritters, Lemon Aioli (£8.50) – these were beautifully presented on the warm glass plate, and were yummy too - crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. There was also a good balance between the pea and mint flavours. Be careful of the aioli on the plate as it’s quite sharp!
Spiced Butternut Soup, Pink Grapefruit, Golden Croutons (£7.50) – this soup sounded interesting on the menu. It was also presented in an interesting way – the soup comes in a separate bottle that is poured in the bowl of grapefruit and croutons when served at your table. Sadly though, the flavours were really underwhelming. I don’t recommend this at all.
Spaghetti, Bocconcini, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives, Basil Pistou (£16.00) – this is the only option apart from the roasted vegetables that are available for vegetarians. So not really much choice at all. Having said that, this plate was actually quite tasty. Simple and classic Italian flavours. But I do think the chef was a bit heavy handed with the basil pistou as the whole plate was near enough drowning in it.
Angus 28 Day-Aged Bone-In Angus Fillet Steak 220g (£34.00) – I had no regrets of ordering this, and I’m glad I chose it over the lobster! Not only was the steak perfectly cooked (I like it medium rare), it was also well seasoned. In my opinion, a steak is good enough with just salt and pepper. But Bōkan offer free sauce with theirs, so I opted for the parsley butter, which is served on a separate dish. As my steak was good enough without the butter, I gave up on it after giving it a little taste. I also loved the beef rib served alongside the steak – again, it was well seasoned and smokey from the grill. If you’re a meat lover then definitely go for this!
Triple-Cooked Chips (£3.00) – I was looking forward to these with my steak. But I felt cheated as they were more fries than chips, considering how skinny they were. Also, the portion size did not justify a price tag of £3.00! I have to admit, they were pretty tasty though.
Hot Chocolate Soufflé, Salted Peanut Ice-Cream (£8.00) – good things come to those who wait, and for this soufflé you have to wait 15 minutes. Trust me when I say it’s worth it! so nicely presented with a chocolate B, melting all over that soufflé. I posted a video of me digging into the soufflé on my Instagram and I can’t help but say #foodporn! The soufflé was rich in chocolate yet not sweet, and was so creamy too. Comfort food in an elegant setting, 37 floors up! The salted peanut ice-cream was the thing that drew me to have this dessert, but I think it doesn’t really add much. So I’d rather go without it, and then maybe the price will drop? Bōkan have a think about this idea!
Yuzu & Lime Tart, Meringue, Fromage Blanc Ice-Cream (£7.00) – if you’re looking for something pretty, then this dessert is for you. The presentation was so fitting to the restaurant. The yuzu and lime flavours are quite prominent, so perfect for those of you that like that sharp citrus flavour. But there’s not much on the plate, so you might be left wanting more!
Overall, I had a good time at Bōkan. The view was excellent, and some of the food lived up the standards I’d expect for such a setting. It sure has become my new hang out place. As they’d only been open for a week, naturally there’d be room for improvement. But I’m sure once Bōkan has ironed out the small issues, they’ll become THE place to go to in Canary Wharf.
Address: Floor 37-39, 40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP