Friday, 15 February 2013

Wapping Project: A Front Runner

There is not much to tempt people to Wapping. Yes you might fancy a stroll along the Thames. I suppose you might even be lucky enough to own one of the converted warehouses that are dotted along the bank, a studio in Gunmakers' Wharf, a pad in Tobacco Wharf - a throw back to when the East End was a hub of international trade. That apart though, there is really not much there. Well at least that's what I thought.

On a random Friday off work the Fashionista suggested we visited the Wapping Project. An art installation in a former hydraulic power station, with a restaurant. I thought it was worth a shot.

The building is incredible, the generators are still in situ, post industrial chic. Of course with any place like this, there are hints at pretension - in amongst those incredible feats of Victorian engineering were TVs showing cars driving through tunnels on loop. Nevertheless, I loved the vibe - perhaps I have been living in East London too long.

We were meant to be having a cheap lunch. Sadly the Wapping Project is not that. Starters hover around the nine quid mark, mains come closer to twenty. Although tempted by the tandoori octopus, we opted for the veal tartare - this came cupped in radicchio leaves. There were the usual capers, more interesting, however, was the introduction of pickled mustard seeds. They worked alongside the mild veal. We had started well.

Next up I had the cod, almond sauce, lemon confit, radicchio and anchovy sauce. It was achingly beautiful, a plate of petals dissected with a clean line of pure white cod. Stunning. And boy did the flavours live up to expectations. Soft cod, bitter radicchio. The almond sauce was a real treat, almost like an almond hummus.  Brought together perfectly with the salty anchovies. Seriously good stuff.

The Fashionista had the potato and Ardrahan knish with watercress salad. I had never come across knish before - a Jewish pastry parcel snack - and maybe this just wasn't a great version of it. The Ardrahan was hardly present - in effect it was mashed potato wrapped in pastry, not something I will be searching out anytime again soon.

I loved the venue, veal and cod.  If we had had only that I would have left the Wapping Project, got straight on the blower, and gathered a group to come and celebrate a new favourite. But that knish - a carb on carb fight - left me with doubts. Still, maybe Wapping does now have something to tempt people to visit, other than the glorious views of Canary Wharf.

Wapping Project on Urbanspoon


  1. Errr, think you need to get your A-Z and/or spellchecker out a little more.

    It's Wapping, not Waping.

    I'd have ignored it if you hadn't repeated the mistake several times through the piece, but as you did...


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