Wapping Food’s single greatest feature is its setting. Beyond a beautiful Victorian red-brick exterior lies a cavernous space dotted with old machinery from the hydraulic power station’s past. Next to these redundant but still mesmerising machines is a pretty restaurant furnished with classic Vitra pieces and twinkling tableware.
In the evening, when all this is washed by gentle candlelight, the effect is romantic and surreal. The food, sadly, isn’t anywhere near as memorable, and to our minds doesn’t warrant the £20 price tag for most mains. A starter of lamb sweetbreads was unappealing, the pinky-grey lumps too clearly resembling the glands that they are. Mains of cod and black bream were better: neatly seared and sealed with perfect crispy skin, and well-chosen accompaniments – baby leeks and new potatoes with the hearty cod, and a Mediterranean-like robust peperonata for the more delicate bream. A side of chard was fine, but at £5 you expect more than fine.
This isn’t to say Wapping Food is not worth visiting; such a memorable restaurant will always be worth a trip. Just don’t expect to be as blown away by the food as you will be by the space.