Plateau, Canary Wharf

The catering industry is, essentially, like the royal family – it’s all about who you know and how you know them, and there’s only about 1-2 degrees of separation as opposed to the rest of the world and their 6. Sometimes it so happens that one has a double dose of relationship issues. In my case, it was the D&D restaurant Plateau in Canary Wharf. Here’s the deal: About 7 years ago, I was asked by an ex-colleague and pastry chef of mine, after both of us left Ramsay Claridge’s, to come and do a trial for a funky new restaurant she had just started working for as pastry chef. This restaurant happened to be in Canary Wharf and went by the name of Plateau. I did my trial, got offered the position of demi chef de partie and had a sojourn lasting only a few months as a much more exciting adventure with Cinnamon Club unfurled in the forest of my career. 

Nevertheless, time shift a few years when I’m getting my first sous chef (albeit, junior) position at the, then, Michelin 1 star, Orrery in Marylebone with Allan Pickett. Time skip, 2011. Having spent the morning at the World Travel Mart in the ExCeL exhibition centre, and being quite hungry and wondering where in the Docklands would be a good place to have lunch, I realised that it was going to have to be a double memory lane lunch! I headed over to Plateau, where my old head chef, Allan was now the skipper. This was going to be the first time where I’d be eating Alan’s food and not being part of his team. Could I have been any more excited?

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Upon Allan’s suggestion, I promptly agreed to have a surprise menu. 3 courses (or so I thought) of the chef’s choosing was just the thing I was in the mood for.

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Foie Gras Ballotine, Pain d’Epice crumbs, Quince puree Classic piece of foie starter in all its autumnal glory, nicely edged on with the pain d’epice crust, and a quince puree that wasn’t cloyingly sweet was a bonus!

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Roast Lamb Cannon, Savoy Cabbage stuffed with Braised Lamb Shoulder, Broth of Root Vegetables and Pearl Barley. Hmm. I guess the broth is the first thing I tasted on this dish and, well, not much mattered after that. This was just the cold weather dish I had a craving for. Wholeseome, hearty broth, not reduced to a sticky sauce, comforting all the way through. That is, until I tucked into the stuffed cabbage, which is when I wondered what the roast bit of meat was doing on the plate. If I had a larger portion of the stuffed cabbage with the broth, I would consider coming back almost every day to have just this.

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 Honey Spiced Gosnargh Duck, Braised Endive, Port Marinated Radish I did a double take when this arrived – surely the last course was my main? No! T’was but a middle course courtesy of being acquainted with the chef. Not that I was complaining, as all’s well that eats well! A medley of contrasting flavours that behaved rather well made this dish another winner. The only setback was the slightly oversalty duck confit, but that aside, I was in a carnivorous daze.

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 Lemon Possett, Kalamansi Jelly, Lemon Granite A nice light dessert seemed to be just the right thing at this point in the proceedings. A scoop in and my mouth started to snap, crackle and pop, and I realised that there was a healthy sprinkling  of popping candy disguised in the granite. What fun!

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 Warm Chocolate Fondant, Mandarin Sorbet Wrong yet again! The last dish was not a dessert, but a dessert sized pre-dessert, thanks to the chef! Help! My 3 course meal had turned into a tasting menu! Well, I wasn’t really making such a fuss, but did wonder how I was going to pack this little baby away. However, upon grazing, I found this to be one of the lightest fondants I’d ever come across – and one not excruciatingly sweet either, whilst the mandarin sorbet did a happy dance across my taste buds, keeping the chocolate in stern check.

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 Yes. I’m not kidding. Pistachio and Griottine Financier, Madeline, Pate de Fruit, Chocolate and Orange Macaroons. 

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Nothing but a good long walk was going to help me now! Blissfully stuffed and surprised by a hearty and comforting meal, I headed off into the approaching sunset with a smile for the rest of the day. Whilst I was given a few extra courses from Allan, the portions are by no means mean and a three course meal at Plateau is more than satiating, whilst allowing for one to return to the office after lunch and carry on without giving into the post meal slump! I think I’ve already planned on coming back here with a friend!

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Overall experience: 8
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 8
Website
Plateau on Urbanspoon

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