Well, I feel that it’s about time that the Cigar Monologues covered some extra territory. As such, I’ve added a new category: Food and Drink. Why? Well, traditionally a cigar has been an excellent finale to a meal, and there are some wonderful drinks that pair well with a good cigar. However, I won’t be looking at either from a purely cigar point-of-view, I shall assess any reviews or comments primarily on the food or drink alone (though I may comment on possible accompaniments).
First up is a review of the Boisdale Jazz Bar and Restaurant in Canary Wharf. It is a wonderful new addition to the Boisdale portfolio (which already includes Belgravia and Bishopsgate in central London). Consisting of two floors overlooking Cabot Square, Boisdale of CW includes a restaurant, a jazz bar, an oyster and caviar bar, two terraces, and a cigar store. For me, the greatest attractions of this venue are the cigar terrace and the whisky menu – which is believed to be the largest in the world!
Anyway, now for some thoughts from my first visit…
Reserving my table for lunch initially seemed to be a bit of a palava via email, but we got there in the end and the service was very friendly. Upon my arrival, I was shown to my table by a friendly waiter who quickly attended my need for water (it was rather warm!) The service very good overall, though it was a little indifferent on occasion. I ordered some Scotch quails eggs to start. They arrived in a rather awkward bowl like basket, which made them almost impossible to eat. However, the effort was well worth it – the sausagemeat was beautifully seasoned with just the right herbs and an ideal amount of pepper. The quails eggs were virtually perfect – nice, deep yellow, viscous yolks. The condiment was pleasant, but perhaps a little light on flavour – though this was possibly for the best, allowing the egg and sausagemeat to shine through nicely.
For my main course I ordered a ‘dangerously’ hot burger with a slice of cheese. I was slightly disappointed by the subdued spice, I was expecting something that was dangerously hot, not slightly spicy (I had been expecting pathia, not tikka masala, levels of spice). That should not draw attention away from the burger itself though, which was thick, juicy and succulent. Most importantly it was cooked just how it should be – with a rich, pink centre. I had ordered a side of chips which were seasoned nicely and had been made from unpeeled potatos – nice rustic touch which looked just right next to a no-nonsense burger!
As a slightly odd observation, I must now comment on the cutlery, which was lovely. There is nothing I hate more than ultra thin knives and forks – those used at Boisdale (complete with company crest) were ergonomically delightful – thick fiddle handles which sat very well in the hand. Big thumbs up for helping to make the dining experience that little bit more enjoyable.
Following my meal I was escorted to the cigar terrace, where I enjoyed a lovely, six-year old Rafael Gonzalez Coronas Extra (which I have since reviewed – click here) and a glass of Highland Park 12yo single-malt Scotch.
So then, overall, I felt that Boisdale CW is a great venue (pretty much faultless on what it offers customers). The service was good and the food enjoyable and tasty. An evening meal, followed by a cigar, some great Scotch and a jazz show sounds like a perfect way to finish the week… Boisdale CW is one of the few places that you can really do that without compromising on any of the components. Well worth a visit – I’ll certainly be back!
For the record:
My starter, main course, diet coke, large bottle of water, cigar and whisky came to £50.
Scores on the Doors: