We opted for a steak one night when in Canary Wharf and decided to try Smollensky’s as it was close by and we hoped they could serve up a good steak as they were a grill house. We walked into the upstairs part of the restaurant from the top floor entrance which was empty apart from two couples dining at opposite ends of the restaurant. Not the best sign but then it was fairly late on a Tuesday. We were unsure if it was open as it was so dark but once we popped our heads inside, a waiter/bar man behind the bar showed us to a table. We had a choice of any tables as it was so empty. We choose a seat at the end of the restaurant by the window that over looked the water at the dock and the Reuters building opposite with its constant stock updates.
We ordered a glass of the Argentinean red but were told that they were sold out of this so the waiter suggested an alternative as the malbec that I had chosen was a lot lighter than most malbec’s. I liked the fact that he offered his opinion and even allowed me to try the one I originally asked for. I agreed that this was too light and that I would trust his opinion on the wine he suggested by the glass. It was a good choice (although slightly more expensive) and I was pleased he suggested this.
For main course we both ordered the surf and turf which was a 10oz steak served with ‘super duper’ prawns. This title irritated me immediately and I almost knew that they would not live up to this due to the presumptuous attitude. As expected the they did not live up to their title. They were over cooked and although had plenty of smoky flavour lacked the size and tenderness that we had expected from the name. Still in their shells, they were messy to unpick as they were on the top of the ready to eat steak. We also had no side bowl to put the shells in and more importantly no hand cleanser.The steak was very fatty and we spent more time cutting off the fat and chewing endlessly than actually eating the meat itself. The meat was cooked well when we cut through this but just the excess fat was so off putting. We also had a pot of thin chips and spinach to go with this. The chips were crisp and tasty however the spinach was overcooked, limp and damp.
We ordered another glass of wine and wiped our dirty fingers (from the de-shelling of the prawns) on to our napkins. The other couples left and we were on our own. Although we certainly didn’t feel like we were being pushed out, it was a little odd being in the large dining area alone, so we finished off the last dregs in our glasses and asked for the bill. This place is a typical steak chain outlet, having a uniform appeal and lack of personality. I have to say the waiters were pleasant and did make an effort, but the food was really lacking in quality. When in Canary Wharf (or at any other of its locations for that matter) we will not make an effort to go again.
Food Service Atmosphere