The Pearson Room – Waving the flag for the USA, classy cocktails and dining in the Wharf
Having spent many years working in Canary Wharf one becomes used to the sterile approach to dining that is offered around the Wharf. The only really notable exception being Roka. However, I’m pleased to say there are now two exceptions. The Pearson Room brings a welcome classy, refined, traditional, but in keeping with the Wharf culture, modern approach to dining in the docklands.
The Pearson Room brings a welcome classy, refined, traditional, but in keeping with the Wharf culture, modern approach to dining in the docklands
The bar and restaurant is situated on the second floor of North Colonnade in the wharf, parched above Waitrose and John Lewis and behind the Reebok gym. Don’t let either the practicalities of locating it or its rather unglamorous home put you off, The Pearson Room is a jewel and well worth searching out. Once there we were treated with a glorious full view of Canada Square to the left across a busy seated area to an equally bustling bar filled with classy city workers enjoying post work cocktails. The décor is very modern-traditional all beaten up leather, wooden bench tables, sitting well amongst the steel and glass of the building it fills. Fits well with more of a relaxed vibe to the bar, complementing the more casual but still classic feel.
The Pearson Room is a jewel and well worth searching out
We were warmly welcomed by the Manager – a veteran of Shoreditch House, and quickly shown to our table. The restaurant is stunning with views again out onto the square, the tables not too close so you can’t hear the professional gossip of your next door neighbours, and a very open feel due to the light coming through the vast windows – with again that great view. At night I’m sure it’s equally as stunning, with the buildings dramatically lit up against the night sky.
Cocktails and nibbles were our first choice. The cocktails chosen for us by our well versed waiter who showed great care and courtesy throughout our dining. The cocktail menu is short but well formed with many of the, as we were informed, award winning cocktails infused with tea which gives them a really palatable, fresh taste, perfect for summer. The bar manager popped over to greet us and the passion he showed for the menu was second to none. Nibbles were fat and juicy, yet beautifully crisp green olives and a selection of nuts which we happily munched whilst we considered the menu.
Well, how to describe the menu… it’s like a trip around the world, lingering in the USA. The influences range from the BBQ, Italy, Asia and interestingly, and to its benefit, Louisiana which figures large on the menu. There are also many vegetarian options and a myriad of healthy salads to choose from for those watching their suit buttons. For first course we opted for the Veal & beef bone marrow meatballs and the seafood chowder. I was apprehensive about the chowder due to thick, cloyed, grainy potato experiences in the US, but what arrived was a delight. A tomato based, fresh affair with meaty seafood in a generous serve. The four large meatballs came in a silky, wonderful smelling tomato sauce, which was incredibly moreish. They were a bit dry for my taste but saying that perfectly seasoned, and any dryness was offset when smothered with the accompanying sauce.
For the main event we sought help from our waiter who knowledgeably suggested the Brick baby chicken, Napa slaw, honey mustard, and the New Orleans shrimp & grits. Having never had grits before I was more than intrigued. We complemented this with a bottle of the house white which was a perfectly summery, crisp Viognier. Lovely… oh and 2 more spritely cocktails – too good to resist. They really are.
The chicken when it arrived was simply delicious. It was butterflied, off the bone with super crispy skin, moist tasty meat, and not at all dry which is sometimes common of chicken done this way. The slaw was really flavoursome, zesty and bold but still balanced. The prawns were big and juicy pillowed in the soft grits that had been combined with the cheese to provide wonderfully decadent and belt busting main.
Following that even though more than full, the food had been so very good we had to have desserts. We opted for the deep fried, yes deep fried apple pie and a selection of sorbets. The pie was definitely a guilty pleasure! Although deep fried it was feather light and dusted in cinnamon and sugar, the apple not too sharp or sweet and definitely very tasty. As for the selection of sorbets – wow what a selection we had. We enjoyed banana, apple, fig, coconut, lemon and apricot… all of them palate cleansing fresh an fruity and a perfect end to a really great meal.
I can firmly say that The Pearson Room is an unstuffy welcome feature to the Wharf dining scene. Offering a great range of unusual cuisine not seen anywhere on, or near the wharf in a relaxed atmosphere, with friendly, well informed, non intrusive service in a comfortable environment. Great for city players and those wanting something casual, yet elegantly different, somewhere different. Definitely worth the trip out of town. In fact, I’m hoping to get back to the Wharf soon so I can get back to trying the rest of that luscious award winning cocktail menu.
Great for city players and those wanting something casual, yet elegantly different, somewhere different. Definitely worth the trip out of town
Heart London **** star rating
2nd Floor, 16-19 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5ER, 020 7970 0920
Emma, Heart London Magazine