Monday, 14 March 2016

The Narrow, Wapping

Last Sunday was of course Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day and we had a lovely three course lunch as a family at Gordon Ramsay's informal, The Narrow at Wapping, overlooking the Thames.

I'd never eaten there before despite popping in several times for drinks, and always eyeing up the food.

There were eight of us - myself, Glen and Bridget, my parents, my Nan and my two brothers, Daniel and Dean and when we arrived the place was absolutely heaving with jovial diners. There wasn't room for a pre-meal drink at the bar but we squeezed onto a sofa in the main stretch of the restaurant with the beautiful views out across the river. It's a fairly cold space despite the radiators pumping out heat plus a few fan heaters so wrap up if you feel the cold and visit during this cold spell.

There was a great atmosphere and children were most certainly welcome - there was even a face painter, which was a nice touch.

Once seated we ate from both the The Narrow's Mother's Day and  A La Carte menus and weren't disappointed.

My Dad and I chose the ham hock terrine to begin, which came with the most delicious homemade piccalilli that was artfully arranged on the plate. The terrine was chunky, full of meaty flavour and perfect with the fresh seeded rolls that came to the table. Very rustic in taste, but beautifully presented.

Ham Hock Terrine with Piccalilli

Glen had a mushroom fricassee served on rocket with buckwheat and with a perfectly soft poached egg on top which was a delicious and light way to begin.

Mushroom Fricassee with Rocket, Buckwheat and a Poached Egg

My Mum and Daniel both opted for the mackerel rillettes which came atop some rye toasted bread. Smooth and pepped up with a zing of lemon and a hint of black pepper, it was lovely, a great start.

Mackerel Rillettes on Rye

Dean had the Chicken Liver Parfait which was great but a rather large portion - no matter; we shared around the table, happily.

Chicken Liver Parfait with Pear Chutney

We also ordered one of the bar snacks of fried squid - a favourite dish, as we'd seen a few other diners enjoying. The squid was tasty and cooked perfectly - no rubbery texture here, cooked in salt and chilli but It was a slightly too heavy handed on the salt for my liking.

Squid


I had seen several roast beef dinners whilst having a drink beforehand, and it looked rare and beautiful so this is what I chose. I was slightly disappointed when it arrived, it looked a touch overdone for my taste, but on cutting into the meat, realised it must have browned on the outside from sitting on the hotplate waiting to be brought to the table as the meat, a sirloin, was tender and pink inside and had the most beautiful seasoned taste. The roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables were lovely too but the huge Yorkshire pudding was utterly perfect - I ate every morsel.

Roast Beef

Glen had the leg of lamb and Dean the pork loin roast dinners and, like mine, each came with just a drizzle of gravy, and we had to request more. We weren't offered condiments and our waiter rushed off so we had to, request these from a different member of staff which was a little frustrating, however it was insanely busy and the roasts were all good so we felt forgiving.

Roast Pork
My Dad had the Pappardelle with Rabbit Ragu which he said was fantastic; but lamented he would have liked a little more pasta.

Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle
Both my Nan and Bridget had the Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas, although Bridget's was from the children's menu and the white fish was cooked beautifully, coated in a crispy batter and served with perfect 'chip shop' style chips and mushy peas - again a good dish.

Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas

My Mum and Daniel both opted for the Pan-fried Hake on a bed of Crayfish Risotto. The hake was cooked to perfection, crispy skin and perfectly flake-able flesh. The risotto was a little under seasoned and lacking in the seafood flavour Dan was looking for, but my Mum thoroughly enjoyed.

Pan Fried Hake with Crayfish Risotto
We had a selection of puddings that included Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding, White Chocolate Cheesecake with Poached Pear and my own delicious Rhubarb and Pear Crumble with a Vanilla Custard - utterly delicious. My only complaint here would be that I could have done with a little bit more custard, but that may be down to sheer greed.

Rhubarb and Pear Crumble with Vanilla Custard

Bridget's dessert was an ice cream with chocolate sauce which she thoroughly enjoyed and I think it's a great coup that any child eats free at The Narrow all day, every day - great incentive for families to eat out more. She received a colouring in book, some pencils and a plain paper hat to decorate which kept her more than amused. The staff were kind and attentive towards her too, when one waiter noticed she was nibbling on the cucumber garnish from one of our drinks, he brought a little plate full of cucumber over. All of these small attentions to detail mean so much when eating out with children, so top marks for being family-friendly.

We had a few beers and wine amongst the table but there were a couple of drivers in our mix too and the bill came in at just under £300 for the eight of us including service which for three decent courses each, I thought was reasonable.

The Narrow is a great venue for informal family dining, in a buzzing riverside atmosphere that serves wholesome, hearty and delicious traditional food with something for all the family.

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