A Review of Parlour, Canary Wharf:
Last week I went to Parlour bar and restaurant, Canary Wharf for a Thursday night out. I had been looking forward to it all week until my plus one cancelled at the very last minute. Suddenly, going to a cocktail bar in the middle of Canary Wharf all by myself didn’t seem like fun.
But then again there’s no better way to really find out about a place than when you are alone and watchful so I ventured in.
Parlour is divided into a bar and a reasonably sized sectioned off restaurant for those who want to eat and talk in a less crowded area. The bar as well as the front court was packed with after work drinkers and the atmosphere was noisy thanks to very loud chatter and laughter.
Based in the heart of the city, there were inevitable city types but it was generally a mixed crowd making it very easy to blend in.
After I signed in, I was ushered to my table in the seated restaurant area which was a relief; not because it was less noisy but because it had space and available seats. Sectioned off but not isolated, I could see the main bar, the cocktail bar and kitchen from my seat so I felt very much part of the crowd.
It turned out going to Parlour alone wasn’t the end of the world; there were people having dinner on their own, colleagues celebrating a birthday and a couple with their child also having dinner. I even found two delightful ladies on a night out who were more than happy to share cocktails. After a while, I didn’t feel so alone, Parlour felt like my local – friendly people, relaxed atmosphere and I fitted right in.
After a while, I wanted to see more of the bar but that was easier said than done. There were bodies everywhere, you couldn’t take a step without bumping into someone, and walking to the other end was hard work. From what I could make out, the bar had a dark brown décor with circular sofas and chairs and long tables in the same colour. It had the buzz of a typical London bar on a Thursday night.
After I fought my way back to the restaurant, I was ready for cocktails and food; cue in my very friendly waitress for the night – ASTA (from Lithuania). She was bubbly, attentive, and patient; she answered all my questions, attended to my every need.
I had four cocktails on the night:
Not the menu, I later learned it was a vodka cocktail with candy liquor and decorated with popping candy. Not sensible calorie wise but it was delicious – sweet with a kick.
Goldfish in a Bag:
Fish carved out of orange peel, edible flowers and gin, all over ice in a bag. Goldfish in a Bag is light in calories and packed a mean punch thanks to the gin. The presentation was delightful -which is half the fun of enjoying a cocktail.
Mardi Gras Star:
Mardi Gras Star is a skinny cocktail (105 kcal). It is made with cariel vodka, passion fruit and prosecco. It was delicious and totally guilt free.
Tears of a Clown:
A gin mojito with blueberries and blue curacao. This was the perfect cocktail to end the night on.
My starter was this chicken satay with peanut sauce and prawn crackers – it was lovely, the perfect starter to go with my cocktail surprise.
This was a tasty, healthy and delicious grill tuna steak well done recommended by the lovely Asta. Could have been all the cocktails but I found the food portions more than adequate, I was full halfway through my tuna steak.
The décor was modern and tastefully done. Not the best music I’ve heard in a bar although it didn’t matter as everyone was busy chatting and not paying attention to the music.
Cocktails were reasonably priced – starting from £6.95 and food, from £5.95. I’ve had inferior cocktails with less taste at more expensive prices so Parlour definitely gets a thumps up.
There were so many options for both food and drinks which was great to see but I stuck with the specials and favourites. And despite being very busy, somehow all drinks and food seemed to come out in a timely manner – within 7-10 minutes of ordering which was very impressive.
I was told Friday is Parlour’s busiest day, although I wouldn’t call Thursdays slow because it was packed to the rafters. But if you just want peace and quiet with a good meal, I hear the Sunday roast is a must have.
The whole place had a friendly vibe; from Asta and management to the patrons, Parlour turned out to be a place to chill out and mingle. The atmosphere reminded me of my local hangout but with an upmarket décor and even better food and cocktails.