Wednesday, December 31, 2008

my meal of the year - Wapping Food

Every meal out was pretty special this year. Hakkasan with Liz back in March for my birthday was absolutely wonderful; a real pleasure - even down to the hard-won doggy bag.

Trinity still slightly disappoints - my first visit was with the tardy relatives, who arrived two hours late for Sunday lunch, and one can’t blame the restaurant for the food in those circumstances. I chose badly on my second visit. The neighbours rave about it, and it is good to have a smart and decent restaurant within walking distance. I just need to be won over; for me it seems to be missing the Xfactor.

Wapping Food has the Xfactor in spades. Ingrid, Peter and I went just before Christmas an it’s absolutely magical. It’s in a refurbished power station across the road from the Prospect of Whitby in Wapping - modern art covers the towering walls and courtyard; banks of candles gutter on the old power station machinery. A really full-on event space, with bags of character and charisma. But the food is wonderful too - quite simple things superlatively cooked. I had a chunky, intensely fishy potted mackerel to start and a barbecued pork chop for my main course, which was the platonic ideal of pork chops - perfectly, juicily piggy, yet subtly enhanced with smoky barbecue flavours. The custard for my wonderful apple and plum crumble was just to die for. Some criticize the service at this place, especially the owner’s allegedly uncertain temper, but we had excellent, friendly and helpful service and the owner herself graciously put us back into our coats and gave us directions to the docklands light railway. So no complaints from me there.

Whoever selected the music has exactly the same taste as me; however, I have to say it was slightly too loud. But Ingrid and Peter didn’t complain.

I very much look forward to my next visit to this place; I might be brave enough to invite the tardy relatives.

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