I tend to be a bit wary when it comes to big chains – it’s hard to maintain quality and personality on a big scale, which I remember reading was why Bone Daddies are looking to keep to just a few, something I can respect. But Drake & Morgan I’ve always found to be slightly different. Yes they are huge, and have recently become even bigger through buying tired City drinking group Corney & Barrow. But each venue has its own personality, the staff aren’t drones, the decor is fab and the food delicious (minus one very beige platter at the Folly once).
The Parlour is the group’s Canary Wharf outpost, and is nestled in the corner of Canada Square, where there are lots of people sitting around, relaxing, eating and drinking. Working? Perhaps. I’m hardly one to judge either way. I’ve recently gone freelance and am very happy to sit in a coffee shop/bar/restaurant and squirrel away. So invited in by Head Chef John Nicell I decided to make The Parlour my home for the afternoon, grab some lunch and sort out my new business! (Disclaimer..! John is a friend but wasn’t there at the time so I think my experience was pretty similar to what customers could expect).
I kicked off with a lovely ricotta and beetroot salad, dressed with pesto, made pretty with watercress and given texture with almonds. I love ricotta anyway, but it was light and everything tasted super-fresh.
Next up was was pan-fried cod with romanesco, asparagus, brown shrimp and the creamiest, most lovely purple potato puree. The cod was perfect, the veg still had a bit of crunch, and the salty pan juices seasoned it all and balanced out the sweet puree. It also looked great with the bright colours. Highly recommended!
Host Carlos was great, very friendly and funny and clearly loves people and interacting with customers. The 90s music (LOVE – it literally must have been a ‘best of the 90s’ playlist. Dawson’s Creek theme anyone?!) was at a perfect volume and the air con was spot on – small things but important if you’re sitting somewhere for a while.
My cousin Amanda came to meet me later on and we enjoyed some lovely cocktails, they have rotating specials and the classics are well done.
Definitely keep an eye on what these guys are up to, I expect there will be lots of lovely new brands popping up as they launch all the new C&Bs, and the food can’t be faulted.
*I was a guest of The Parlour, although paid for the cocktails