I don’t know what it is about Canary Wharf but I just love being in this part of London during the week. Everyone’s just finished work, desperate for a drink and by 8pm every restaurant and bar is completely filled – yet the streets are always quiet. Getting home after a boozy night back to Chelsea can be a little long perhaps, but the commuter boat journey to Canary Wharf from my home completely makes up for that. Travelling by the water really feels like an extension to any dining experience.
Our dining destination of choice was a brand new restaurant in Canary Wharf named Jazzgir. I’m not entirely sure how crazy I am for the name and I seem to be adding an ‘L’ to the end by force of habit to complete what sounds like an unfinished title, but the concept I do like and the interior is gorgeous. Atmospheric, colourful and lovely views over the water of which the restaurant sits above.
Another thing I love about this place is the live music. I’m a bit of a Jazz fan and so listening to it while eating makes me feel rather spoilt. A well mixed Padua Negroni was a mixture of Martin Miller gin, aperol, antica formula vermouth and orange bitters. While a classic old-fashioned slipped down a treat. The evening’s entertainment taking over the stage was the wonderful Hetty & Jazzato Band who brought a lovely relaxed atmosphere into the room.
While the stage is being looked after, the kitchen is overseen by head chef Raffaele Biancareddu – who is injecting a taste of the Mediterranean into Canary Wharf. The menu isn’t particularly complex, but it’s simple quality food which everyone will love and recognise. Testament to that quality was the stracciatella di burrata. Creamy, sour, full of flavour and the tomatoes were really lovely. The perfect dish to remind us of Summer, even if the British weather mostly offers rain.
Just as good was the tuna carpaccio. Rounds of dressed cucumber, asparagus purée, pea shoots and crispy shallots. Again I thought the quality was lovely and flavours satisfying. My only feedback would be that apart from the tuna, there needed a bit more of everything else as I ran out very quickly – especially of that delicious purée.
Mains were again good but portion comparison there needed a little more control. Star dish of the entire evening was the fresh pappardelle with rabbit ragu. The pasta was al dente and silky. The rabbit meat was rich and soft and the sauce had a nice deep refined flavour to it. All I ask from it as a main course is a little more on the plate. The rib eye steak came served with sautè new potatoes and a peppercorn sauce which I think had a little rosemary in it, which I loved and my steak cooked to my requested medium-rare perfectly.
We finished up on two of my favourite things in life. Tiramisu and an espresso martini. Perhaps a little coffee overload but that was all down to my greedy caffeine nature and I can never tire of such a thing. Both were excellent too. The martini was creamy, had a good punch and a great balance of both bitterness and sweetness. While the tiramisu gave all of the usual enjoyment and portion size this was spot on.
I really enjoyed my time at Jazzgir and for a new restaurant still finding its feet they’re doing rather wonderfully already. The atmosphere is fantastic, the cocktails delicious and the food the type you’ll want to eat while listening to the sweet sounds of jazz. They of course need to remove the words ‘fine dining’ from the establishment as this isn’t fine dining, but instead small sharing plates of Mediterranean food to while away an afternoon and evening.