California In Canary Wharf: We Dined At The Restaurant Taking Inspiration From The Famous Gold Coast

Wandering through the labyrinth that is Canary Wharf, I was on my way to meet my friend for dinner at Feels Like June when, quite clearly, the weather looked like an English April. The restaurant's concept promised California style married with European flair, which excited me as someone who’s never been to the West Coast but has seen friends' Instagram stories of it.

Housed in a towering glass building and neighbouring city exec-accommodating hotel Tribe, Feels Like June was striking upon entry. It was that well-decorated, it looked like the inside of a furniture store, with winding velvet sofas, soft lampshades reminiscent of pearls and coral accents. Greenery sprouted from every corner, particularly atop the oval-shaped bar, and plants dangled down shiny, white-tiled walls.

Feels Like June Canary Wharf Review | DesignMyNight

The Feels Like June drinks menu is full of fruity flavours. 

We were led to a table near the kitchen but swiftly moved after we ordered: it became apparent that we’d opted for too much food and the waiter seemed concerned about fitting it all in front of us.

To begin with, however, we sipped a cocktail each, which was a highlight. I nursed a Mexicali (£11), a luminous green concoction made with manzanilla sherry, Verde mezcal and apple vinegar, topped with a single jalapeño ring. Tangy, sharp and with a heated aftertaste, it was a refreshing tipple that contrasted the Mirage Sangria (£10) that my friend ordered. Complete with a dried pineapple umbrella, it was a holiday in a glass, glistening ruby red and far less sweet than anticipated, thanks to a mix of Midori and dry curacao.

For dinner, we settled on a mix of small plates and sides, so that we could share and discuss our thoughts, which proved increasingly hard to do at a normal volume as one thing about Feels Like June is that it also feels like a club. This is thanks to its West Coast Wednesdays resident DJ spinning tropical house music on loop.

Feels Like June London Review | DesignMyNight

Hey, good looking: step into interior heaven at this haunt. 

Everything came out at once so I made a beeline for the tuna croquettes (£8). Five crispy balls, topped with citrus mayo, were lined up in a row and promptly became four as I plopped one straight into my mouth. Admittedly, I found these to be a little dry and the crumbly outer coating too thick for my liking with not enough sauce, but the disappointing start was countered by the ancho chicken tacos (£13.50). Two loaded soft flour tortillas provided the base for mountains of shredded poultry, guacamole, mojo verde and fried shallots. Creating a tactical fold, I bit into zesty notes of lime and tender chicken that melted in the mouth.

After mopping up the taco juices, slabs of grilled halloumi (£9) made for a fantastic follow-up. I devoured each piece with a helping of spiced tomato chilli jam which, on its own, was incredibly sweet but the saltiness of the Greek cheese mellowed it out.

My dinner date’s favourite small plate was the smoked aubergine puree (£12); a thick, creamy mound of garlicky, blitzed dip topped with marinated tomatoes and basil, served with toasted sourdough bread. Gooey and rich, it was slathered over anything we thought could pose as a vehicle for delivering it to our mouths, including the nutty roasted sweet potato wedges (£6) and spicy tenderstem broccoli (£6). The latter was marinated in confit garlic and scattered with chilli flakes, which made for a punchy flavour combination.

Feels Like June Canary Wharf Menu | DesignMyNight

Grilled meats and sweet treats are whipped up in the kitchen. 

Bellies full and fearful of having no room for dessert, we decided to slow down, pause, take in our surroundings again and then, naturally, order vanilla cheesecake (£8). A mountain of whipped cheese atop a delicate, biscuit base was presented in front of us and we watched, salivating, as our waiter drizzled it with a ruby-red berry compote. It was thick, velvety and so rich that, to conquer it, it was necessary to do baby scoops, one at a time. Feeling pleased with ourselves and on the verge of food comas, we called it a night and set off into the concrete maze, hopeful of locating the station quicker than last time.

The DesignMyNight Digest

Vibrant and fresh, the interior was a standout for me, offering a relaxed club lounge feel that posed as a great place to enjoy a bite to eat and a few cocktails. The Feels Like June Canary Wharf menu offered a diverse range of plates, from grilled meats to salad bowls, catering to various tastes and moods which I liked. However, I felt the DJ set on a Wednesday evening while some people had come to finish off work on their laptops and solo dine was perhaps a bit too much. 

  💰 The damage: £83.50 for two, minus service charge.

  📍  The location: 15 Water Sreet, E14 9SB.

  👌 Perfect for: After-work food and drinks.

 ⭐ Need to know: Avoid West Coast Wednesdays if you’re looking for a quiet bite to eat. 


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