Friday, 13 December 2013

The Narrow - Limehouse

Boats have been up and down the Thames for hundreds of years. Tell that to my Mum. Face pressed to the glass of The Narrow's conservatory, eyes swinging like a cat watching fish, it wasn't until the main course that the boat-by-boat commentary stopped. Most people would put it down to the wine, but then I know her better than most. Not that The Narrow - a gastropub in Limehouse Basin literally inches from the river - doesn't offer impressive views. As we sat, a low December sun sank through a brilliant blue sky that morphed through orange, pink, and purple to the black of night. Meanwhile, the lights of Canary Wharf gently flickered in to life, streaming luminous rays of colour out across the water and the dark heart of London below. I watched the beauty of this spectacle truly captivated, my eyes struggling to capture its majesty through a pint and three glasses of Malbec. So, of course, I made sure that I viewed it all through the lens of Instagram. I ignored the boats.

The Narrow is a Gordon Ramsey 'pub' with a capital GASTRO. I doubt you'd ever feel comfortable dropping in for beers after work; although they do run a weekly pub quiz so perhaps it's only at the weekends that those wearing walking boots and combats feel awkward. The range of beers on offer was poor. I settled for a Camden Pale Ale (4.9%) - not at all an inferior drink, but I'm sure it was only one of the two decent beers on offer. The food, on the other hand, was almost as good as the view. A salmon starter was overpowered with beetroot and horseradish - exactly how I like it. The beef of the roast was cooked to perfection: lifted from the oven, plated, and delivered in the seconds needed to keep the meat pink yet warm. The classic trimmings of carrot, parsnip, yorkshire, and roast potatoes were let down slightly by a rogue piece of broccoli, tougher than the bagged stuff from Lidl I have in the freezer. This theme continued in to the desert, where an amazing artery-clotting cream accompanied a delicious tart, soiled by a pear that a knife - let alone a spoon - couldn't dent. Bizarre.

Minor errors aside, The Narrow is a great place for a Sunday dinner. In the summer, I can imagine it's heaving and hot, but in the autumn and winter, and after a ten mile walk, the views and food were just what was needed.

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