Restaurant Review: Feels Like June, Canary Wharf, London, UK

On a Friday night, Canary Wharf is buzzing, people enjoying after work drinks and setting out for a meal in one of its many restaurants. I always find there’s something of the Bermuda Triangle about the place as I always get lost. Tonight is no exception, the tall buildings seemingly preventing Google maps from working. It’s a while before I cross one of many water channels and find the restaurant in front of me.

This is the new part of Canary Wharf, the last to be built, and all is brand spanking new. Feels Like June is inside the Hotel TRIBE and I make a note that there’s an extensive patio outside to enjoy in warmer summer months. In early February, I’m dining inside, the lofty interior already buzzing with cool sounds. It’s a large space, bar at one end and kitchen spaced out on the rear wall. Above it the lit sign says “California to Canary Wharf” so I can guess what food’s on offer.

We sit down on banquettes, staring out into the spacious interior which is gradually filling with the Friday crowd. My partner goes for the Mocktails, a choice of red or green, while I go for the French Sauvignon Blanc. The menu splits into Small Plates, Salads/Bowls, Large Plates, From the Grill and Taco Bar. There’s a Mediterranean feel to the starters while the Grills are very much American.

So we start with Roasted Heritage Beets with whipped goat cheese, dukkha and dill. This comes as chunks of a duo of beetroot, pink and purple, on a bed of cheese sprinkled with spice and herbs. Freshness is key here and the earthiness of the goat is a good contrast to the sweet beets. Tuna Croquettes are small fishy spheres on a thin layer of citrus mayo, topped with chopped dill. The lemon in the mayo is a nice touch.

Feels Like June

We like the Buttermilk Cauliflower, chunky mouthfuls in a light batter, topped with coriander, spring onions and lime, perfect for dipping in the jalapeño mayo. Simple but perfectly formed, even healthy, although large dollops of mayonnaise tend to cancel out those benefits.

Feels Like June

So to mains and we agree to share the Meat Feast – definitely an American theme here with a platter of Ancho Chicken Thighs, Beef Striploin and Buttermilk Chicken Wings. It comes with Sriracha mayo and Chimichurri for dipping. The steak is nicely charcoaled medium rare while the wings are pleasantly light, sharing the same batter as the cauliflower starter. Thighs are juicy with any Ancho definitely in the background

Sides are Crushed Potatoes with confit garlic and thyme, and Spicy Tenderstam Broccoli also with garlic and chilli flakes. The potatoes are small and new, almost sweet, whilst the broccoli is nicely undercooked so retains its crunch.

We decide we have to sample the desserts, all in the line of duty, so my partner goes for a big slab of cheesecake, topped with strawberries and striped with coulis. Light and creamy, it certainly hits the spot. I go for Limoncello Tiramisu, topped with slices of plum and passion fruit, and it’s a surprisingly solid effort, easy to wolf down without any hesitation.

Feels Like June

At the end of the meal we feel replete yet completely stuffed. We’ve certainly eaten a lot but it’s a testament to the light hand in the kitchen that we’re feeling good. The food here is what I would call Californian Comfort and none the worse for that. Although here in East London, I can’t help feeling that a little bit more chilli in the sauces would complement that the soothing west coast vibe.

Feels Like June

15 Water St, London E14 9SB