We have heard the praise The Dock Masters House in Canary Wharf since moving to SE London and having keen interest in Indian cuisine. In fact it is one of the top recommended contemporary Indian restaurants in London and the head chef has a history of working in luxury Indian and English establishments. It is located within a listed three-storey Georgian building in the London Docklands, comprising of a large dining rooms, a bar, private dining areas and a garden. It is quite striking when walking past the docklands to turn a corner to find this beautiful old building. It feels as though you have moved from the heart finance district to a Jane Austin novel. Strange but works especially for the banking clientele I suppose.
We entered the grand entrance and had a gin martini in the bar, opposite the dining room before going in for dinner. The bar was large rectangular room, looking like someone’s reception room and felt cold with the white walls and blue lights from the bar although it was warm in temperature. The martini’s took a long time to come out even though we were literally the only ones in the bar at the time. We wished we had gone for a glass of wine or something easier but it did seem to keep the bartender busy I suppose…
We asked to be seated but told there was a five or ten minute wait so we decided to go for a glass of wine to save the wait again. The main dining room is similar to the bar but slightly larger. Again the walls are white and as it is so expansive they have the feeling of looking cold even if it is not.
We went for the tasting menu with wines to par, as we felt a little fancy that night. Our order was taken swiftly (although there was not much to forget with our choice of menu) and we were soon served with the amuse bouche, served in a small glass goblet. It was warm and creamy and slid down throat. Delicious. The first course was a plate of grilled king prawn, grilled monk fish and a scallop. The scallop was thick and juicy and had a hint of chili. The king prawn was grilled and slightly smoky as a result and the monk fish was served in a hot spicy marinade that was tasty but did not overpower the dish. The fish was well cooked, served with a small green garnish. This was served with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which was light and complemented the delicate seafood well. I have to say this was probably one of my favorite dishes on the tasting menu.
The next dish came out quickly as soon as we had finished our last bite nearly. This was lamb chop, tandoori chicken breast and a lamb patti samosa. It came out a little too quick really as the starter was quite big for a tasting menu and the meat plate that followed again was pretty heavy so would have been nice to have time to digest this a little longer. The lamb chop was the star here, now I am not a huge fan of lamb chops as I find it tough and often fatty but this just melted in the mouth. The tandoori chicken was served with pomegranate and was very tasty although slightly dry and the lamb samosa was flavorsome although I would have preferred another meat instead of another piece of lamb that was already on this plate. These were served with a number of dips that we used to stop the dish being too dry without sauce. This course was served with Rioja Crianza which was tart and deep. This worked really well with the lamb especially.
We were then served a lemon sorbet as a palette cleanser which was welcome after the spiced meat dish that had consumed our taste buds.
There was a long wait after the sorbet which was a little unexpected as the other courses came out so quickly, making the experience feel less smooth flowing than it should have been in.
The final savory dish was prawns tellicherry, grilled chicken in a fenugreek sauce and crusted lamb rump. Now after all this alcohol my memory is a little fuzzy but I do remember that the chicken was a pleasure to eat as it was lightly spiced with the fenugreek and the crusted lamb again was packed full of flavour although less ‘melt in the mouth’ than the previous lamb. This was served with an Australian Shiraz which completed the chicken and lamb well but probably a little over powering for the prawn. Again I was surprised at the limited selection of meat used, as the prawns were used twice and lamb three times with beef, venison, fish and crustaceans evidently missing from the menu
Dessert was served quickly, comprising of carrot pudding, chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream. I loved this dish as it worked so well. I generally do not like sponge but the small carrot cake was light and delicate in flavour – stunning. The chocolate pudding, which when prized open, oozed out molten chocolate that was instantly chilled by the creamy ice cream. A real winner. The desert was served with a glass of muscatel from Spain. It was a little too sweet for the already rich desert but was incredibly tasty. It had hints of vanilla, honey and oak. Delicious.
The food was well cooked and incredibly tasty, service was attentive and professional however it was let down by the mixed service flow and the cold, vast spaces making this place feel less cosy than preferred we give this place:
Food Atmosphere Service