For whatever reason, you find yourself hungry and on London’s South Bank again. You walk for what seems like miles looking for something different to eat, you get hungrier and hungrier and then you begrudgingly end up in Strada again because you just can’t take it anymore. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been in that situation. That’s why it was nice to come across The Wharf on my most recent trip to the area. Just a few minutes up the river bank from the London Eye, this Mediterranean restaurant is a nice alternative to the standard restaurant chains, but still has a menu that offers something for everyone.
We went for a late lunch on a weekday so it was fairly quiet inside and we had a choice of tables but I can imagine that it gets quite busy on evenings and weekends. After the lovely waitress showed us to the table we wanted in the back, we got straight into the menus and ordered a starter to share:
Calamari has always been an important part of my restaurant/dining experiences and I have eaten a lot of it so my expectations are probably a little higher than average, but I would have to say that this one wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. However, the portion size was impressive, definitely enough to share and the garlic mayonnaise was a perfect accompaniment, so overall it was pretty good.
Continuing with the seafood theme, for mains we had:
Although the prices at The Wharf are pretty steep, you do get what you pay for. To call the portions generous would be a slight understatement and despite the tagliatelle dish being lovely and creamy, this was the first time that I failed to finish all my pasta at a restaurant. The cauldron of mussels that arrived at our table were also definitely too much for one, but were delicious and cooked to perfection. For some reason, after all that we still had room for dessert (some say that it goes into a different compartment in your belly!) and we both ordered one each:
I honestly have no idea why I ordered such a rich chocolate dessert because I don’t particularly like rich chocolate desserts, but this one was probably as good as they get. All kinds of crunchy gooey sweet chocolatey stuff; a chocoholic’s dream indeed. And the apple pie was the perfect blend of tangy warm apple and sweet crispy pastry. Desserts don’t get much better than this. If I were to go again, I would probably order more starter sized portions to share and then desserts instead of mains. And I probably would go again.
The Wharf is a little more impressive and posher than a standard restaurant and the prices don’t completely break the bank, so it’s probably a nice place to take a date. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere is chilled and I can imagine that it’s even better in the summertime, especially with the outdoor seating overlooking the river (provided that we get a summer anytime soon).
The Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PP
Open Monday – Sunday 11.30am – 11.30pm
Our rating: 3/5