Ah, the ubiquitous chip.
Normally a mere sideshow, the bland by-product of a steak dinner, the staid wingman to the plate’s more glamorous components.
Well, what if I told you I have found the greatest chip in London? Crunchy on the outside, candyfloss fluffy within, emphatically enhanced by umami dream team truffle oil and Parmesan. Wingman no more, hey?
This said life-changing chip can be found, along with a host of equally appealing dishes, on the menu at Tom’s Kitchen, the third outpost of Michelin-starred Tom Aikens’ casual dining concept. Canary Wharf is worth a family outing for its bombastic buildings alone, but now the weekend brunch offer at Tom’s offers another reason to hop on the DLR – children eat for free while mum and dad can sip a complimentary bloody Mary with their French toast.
Now, back to the chip. Alongside this revolutionary side dish, we enjoyed milky burrata with puddles of peppery olive oil and crunchy toasted walnuts, and fat, sweet scallops, plopped back into their shell with a punchy sauce vierge and slow roasted tomatoes.
For our main, I was happy to note the children’s menu offered pint-sized portions of classic British dishes – crispy chicken with mash and green beans, shepherd’s pie – but I opted for the grown-up baked cod, sat atop a porridgy saffron risotto with a crew of clams, their red pepper dressing offering a sweet foil to the saffron’s fragrant spice. My companion chose the rib eye steak (he always does), which came charcoaled and caramelised, Desperate Dan style, on the bone. A trifling issue; the rare was deemed to be rather more medium by my carnivorous cohort, but he does prefer his meat with a pulse.
Dessert continued the meal’s run of excellence. A hot chocolate pot was suitably rich with a molten center, while apple and calvados tart was one of those heartbreakingly delicious, decadent desserts that you must admit to being defeated by and leave half finished with pangs of regret.
There are lots of reasons to visit Tom’s Kitchen – come here for a first-rate family meal in buzzy, unpretentious surroundings, come here for genuine warmth of service and (if you’re so inclined) perfectly-mixed, punchy short cocktails.
But really, you should come just for the chip. I know I will be.
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