Nestled amongst the high-rise buildings of Canary Wharf and overlooking the ice rink, Plateau certainly offers an impressive view. The warm and comfortable atmosphere and décor were a stark contrast to the grey and imposing corporate buildings that make up the surroundings. Large, freestanding lamps gave the room a very homely feel, while wooden panelling and luxurious furniture ensure that you don’t forget you’re in a quality establishment.
Going into the meal I was sceptical. The task of creating a six-course meal with a staple ingredient as sweet as honey certainly seemed challenging to me, and it would be interesting to see how head chef Daniel McGarey would manage to balance the flavours and keep the dishes from coming across as overly sweet.
A major part of managing this was the wine pairing, and I must say the sommelier did an absolutely fantastic job of pairing wine to food, using a very clear extensive knowledge of the menu to balance the sweetness of the honey with wine which perfectly complemented the flavours of the dishes. Whether it was a sweeter dessert wine or a richer, smokier red, the wine was clearly selected and the reason it was chosen was clear.
Of course honey wasn’t always a major component of the plate. My favourite dish, the Iberico Pressa is a good example of this. The perfectly cooked pork was accompanied by a pepperade, thyme polenta and lemon and honey sauce. The parmesan in the polenta worked fantastically to offset the sweetness of the plate, while the lemon and honey sauce added a sweetness which complemented the pepperade perfectly. The complete combination of flavours, however, was somewhat confusing. While both the polenta and the lemon and honey sauce individually worked with the pork and pepperade, the two, in my opinion, didn’t work together.
While the experience overall was a very positive one, the restaurant does still have room for improvement. One of the most notable one was a lack of attention to detail when they picked the crab in the otherwise delicious honey and soy-glazed salmon starter, the result of which were small pieces of membrane in the dish.
Despite small issues the experience was a highly pleasurable one. The food was prepared well, for example the butternut veloute, which was smooth and thick just as expected, and the white chocolate, honey and ginger dessert, was perfectly balanced and executed.
One of the highlights of the evening was the staff. While the service was swift and polished, we were offered the opportunity to take a much appreciated break between courses, both to let our food go down and enjoy a few sneaky extra glasses of wine. Both the waiting staff and the sommelier were happy to answer any questions we had about the meal and displayed a clear knowledge of that was being served and the reasons behind the chef’s choices.
The Plateau Honey Menu is one I would strongly recommend for those with a sweeter tooth, however that’s not to say those without can’t come along and appreciate the faultless wine tasting, well-cooked food and fantastic service from a friendly and welcoming staff.