Please note, Dock Kitchen is now closed. Time Out Food editors, December 2017.
Kitted out by motorcycle-influenced furniture designer Tom Dixon and with a kitchen manned by River Café graduate Stevie Parle, Dock Kitchen has impeccable credentials. The handsome site shoulders up to the Union Canal, with a broad terrace overlooking a small dock that’s ideal for sunny days. The cooking concept – from a lively open kitchen full of unreasonably good-looking staff – is a flexible, seasonal, creative à la carte and a themed set dinner (which changes every couple of weeks). The former reads badly, mixing bistro classics, Middle Eastern, Asian and European dishes, and the welcome zaatar-laced flatbread is no lead-in to lamb biriani or asparagus with chopped egg. So we went for the themed (Mexican) menu, which had enough verve to make us consider coming back to try the à la carte. Mini tacos with rich ox tongue and cheek were intense, moreish bites – only a version with bream and a curiously chewy taco fell flat. Next, a creamy, crunchy, stuffed and fried courgette flower with a piquant salad, and an impressive platter of pork, beef and chorizo from the grill. To finish, chocolate and tequila ice-cream with cinnamon-dusted churros was a real star. Staff are relaxed and competent, and the whole thing has just about enough panache to justify the ambitious pricing.