Newly opened (as at Mar '17) Novotel Hotel with restaurant on 37th, snazzy bar on 38th and roof / drinks terrace on 39th floor - superb views of London
Not only is this around the corner from myself, the exciting thing about Bōkan at the newly opened Novotel in Canary Wharf is that the chef opening this establishment is formerly of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, off Leicester Sq, which has been Michelin starred for many years. The menu has been made more user-friendly to the masses and this visit was from the bar on the 38th floor. Above this on the 39th is the out-door roof terrace and below on 37th is the main restaurant which I look forward to doing another time. There are fewer places in London with such superb views and even the bathrooms are superbly positioned, kept and a plus point for visits. The snack / bar food here were comforting and easy, but the stand out on this visit was actually having I think the best bloody Mary I think I have ever had in my life with its base being made from beer, chocolate, sugar, worcester and other spices. A very nice option to do something different.
So, instead of a 3 course lunch, we opted for doing most of the snacks from the bar menu in one hit. The home made foccacia was quite salty but springy and with a pleasant hummus to dip each of the rectangular cuboids in to. The sauge roll pieces had a pleasing comfort but sadly the grain mustard was just a little thick for dipping; the sort of viscocity that meant that you either scooped a literal grain or the entire portion in one go(!).
The opening beef jerky and sausage stick were good to chew on (the latter being quite tough to get in to and meant going small piece at a time with best clamp teeth at the ready) and I thought the pea and mint soup was extremely smooth which was pleasing. I couldn’t really gauge much of the ricotta cheese within the mint soup but it was nicely done and it left the stand out winner as being the fried squid with oatmeal powder served with a home-made saffron mayonnaise. This was lovely but do make sure you eat quickly as thin squid that is deep fried can go hard and chewy as it cools quickly as I found this did.
Finally, the club sandwich I thought was extremely well done with the bread very well toasted with slightly melted cheese and a fine, sweet relish that come with. But this didn’t top the absolute highlight for me was the sheer quality of the bloody Mary. I never used to be a fan of bloody Mary but I now think it is superb, especially if you need a bit of a ‘pick me up’. You must try this one if you are a bloody Mary fan as it had a luxurious depth without being too much for the nostrils in any way.
Whether it was the restaurant, or the bar or the roof terrace, I was genuinely pleased with the design of this venue (stylish but with almost Scandic homliness as well) and the views on any of the levels are undeniably good. It’s a new find for me as a place and the only remaining question is what’s their restaurant food like. Something I will look forward to finding out in the coming weeks and months.
Food Grade: 63%
Location (Click google logo for directions)