a new First Choice for Me
25, Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QA
So on a wet and windy January day, I wended my way down to the venue, expecting it to find it against a regular London background. The nearest underground station (London DLR) is Canary Wharf. What an amazing paradigm shift. As you exit the station you come into a vast complex of "underground" walkways, lined with stores of all kinds and office vestibules. Somewhat reminiscent of the classy Hong Kong hotel entranceways. Eventually I came to the plaza exit for the restaurant and went outside. Canary Wharf's ground level is like a little bit of New York dropped into London. How nice to see again widely separated high rise buildings. You can even see the sky without elevating your eyes through 45 degrees - this must be really great when the sun's shining!!
Pamela Schneider, First Edition's owner/manager, has spent a lot of time on America and has brought the spirit of attentive service coupled with excellent food and wine to her venture, in this venture. This intent is clear from her motto, "First Thought, First Choice - First Edition" ... and my experience reflected it well. On first impression, she looked like friendly but efficient entrepreneur running a tight ship.
Local artists have the opportunity to exhibit their works at the restaurant, assuring regularly changing background. Currently Leena Shah is exhibiting and from mid-March through April, the guest artist will be Cassandra Constant.
On seating, Nellie offered some fine wines which were thoroughly enjoyable. They included a Light, tart Meursault Rouge Clos de la Baronne (I think 2001).
A nice wine but not quite what we were in the mood for.
This was followed by an elegant and refined Barbaresco Brovia Rio Sordo 1997 with a cherry flavour.
And then Josef Jurtschitsch, Sonnhof Schenkenbichl 2001, another fine wine.
Onto the food. My guest Alex, who works for an American Bank in Canary Wharf, started with Home Made Venison Terrine served with ciabatta toast. With jealous reluctance, he let me have a tiny taste of this dish which was delicious. Much more entertaining than my Corsican Platter with wild boar sausages, ham and pate; which had strong flavours but was a tad tough.
Alex then had a wonderful Roast Pheasant dish with sautee potatoes, mushrooms, runner beans and foie gras sauce. The foie gras went superbly with the pheasant which was not at all gamey. The vegetables were crisp and fresh. Again, I wished I'd ordered Alex's dish - or maybe had that as well as my Fillet of Pork with celeriac and in a mushroom and white wine sauce.
Now we get to the good bit - pud'n's!! This time I chose better than Alex, finding my Banana Pancake with the most superb vanilla ice cream, absolutely scrumptious. The Creme Brulee Alex ordered was also a delightfully light sweet.
First Edition is located just 4 miles from City Airport, in the middle of the commercial center of Docklands and just 2 miles from the City, London's financial district. This makes it ideal for our American readers visiting Europe or the City.
It was a real pleasure spending time with Pamela and Nellie and a bonus to meet some of their colleagues and friends. Though Pamela runs a tight ship making sure every customer gets the attention they deserve, her staff clearly enjoyed working hard in a professional but fun climate. The meal was superb and certainly "First Choice", rending First Edition now a "First Thought" for me, as it should be for you.
STOP PRESS. Since my visit, First Edition's manager has appeared on Television twice, being interviewed regarding her excellent venue and entrepreneurial style. From Bluebell Star to Restaurant Entrepreneur to Media Star, this lady sure has my admiration! Is there any stopping her - First Thought, First Choice, First Lady!!
|Restaurant||Mon-Fri||12.00 - 15:00|
|Bar||Mon-Fri||18.00 - 22:00|
Web site coming soon.
Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf (DLR)
Wally Robertson, January 2004