Never one for passing up an opportunity to uncover a new venue in London, I ventured down to Smollensky’s in Canary Wharf to see what they had to bring to the table.
A large neon sign spelling Smollensky’s hangs in the front window of this cheery Canary Wharf venue. If this sign does its job and entices you inside, you’ll be treated to front row views of the docks. There's also a sunny terrace area that looks out onto Reuters Plaza, I remained indoors this time but it has all the makings of a classy little spot come summer. The interior of the venue itself is simple and modern. It has maple and mahogany wooden floors and dark wooden tables with matching chairs up and down its lengthy space. There’s no need for Smollensky’s to go to town on extravagant décor - its fabulous location does all the talking.
Food and Drink
Looking at Smollensky’s exciting cocktail menu, my mind came to rest on the Pink Pears cocktail (£8.65). It was a mixture of Stolichnaya vodka, Xanté pear liqueur, passoa, fresh strawberry purée and apple juice. While the apple juice overpowered the vodka kick for this particular mix, the Smollensky’s wine list put on its red cape and came to my rescue with a bottle of 2012 California Pinot Grigio (£25.75).
The Thai Style Crab Cakes with Chilli Jam and Dill Mayonnaise (£6.75) and Cajun Jambalaya made the final cut when our waitress came around to take orders. The crab cakes came out golden and crisp and the Jambalaya was a saucy, savoury combination of chicken, crayfish and chorizo with a side of rice. If you ever want a comforting dish to sooth a hangover, this is the one. While I focused on Smollensky’s seafood selection, my partner in crime gave a nod towards the Chicken Satay Skewers with Asian Style Salad (£6.50) and the Cajun Chicken Fillet Burger with Blue Cheese, Rocket and Bacon Jam (£12.95).
To finish the night we put our dessert faith in the hands of our trusted waitress. She highly recommended the Chocolate Mud Pie (£6.75) and the Peanut Butter Cheesecake (£4.95). When my plate came out my initial thoughts were 'this looks good'. One spoonful later I’d changed my mind. This cheesecake wasn’t just good, it was great. It effortlessly climbed its way into my top 5 favourite London desserts, and is a must for those with a taste for all things sweet.
Atmosphere and Clientele
Tables were a scarce thing the Wednesday night we popped down to Smollensky’s. The venue was entertaining many Christmas parties, which made it hard to lock down on the typical clientele found here. Nonetheless, the atmosphere was lively and festive as people pulled crackers and got merry over beers and wine. It was near to impossible to hear the venue's playlist as people’s chatter and laughter bounced from wall to wall, but from what I did manage to hear it was a current mix, broken up with a few dance tracks.
Smollensky's in Canary Wharf is a trusty retreat bringing affordable drinking and dining to Canary Wharf. With a prime location and plenty of friendly staff to ensure your experience runs smoothly, if you do one thing at Smollensky's; sample their absolutely dreamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake.