We came here for Supper after an exhausting afternoon dragging around Winter Wonderland and finding everywhere else full of works Christmas parties, slowly losing hope that we’d find anywhere decent as a walk in bedraggled, Christmas shopping loaded family. The Wharf is a riverside restaurant very near to the National Theatre and other major South Bank attractions and the view at night of the river,Tate Modern spotted Damian Hirst decorated water taxi busying past, bounded by St Pauls Cathedral and crossed by softly blue lit bridges proved a major distraction from our plates of food. Utterly magical and worthy of a inclusion in the prime opening credits of a Richard Curtis movie yet this super prime city location was not reflected in what we were charged: The Wharf has a very reasonable price point and many of the local restaurants in darkest Suffolk charge more.
The restaurant doesn’t serve up cutting edge molecular cuisine and neither does it go for a loftier ‘Haute’ Italian. We are not talking Locanda Locatelli or River Cafe. Instead it has a small carefully chosen menu of classics- calamari, risotti, pasta and pizza all cooked fresh to order. Seafood linguine contained a decent portion of clam, mussels and prawns in a creamy wine-y sauce (couldn’t finish it as they gave us a lot), the risotti is made properly with a good ‘ripple’ across the top when you tilt the plate and the garlic prawns were crunchy, juicy and not something you’d want to eat the day before a hot date.(Loads of garlic!) A good cheesecake and non Italiano-trad brownie made up the bulk of the small pudding menu. Other options included Roasted Butternut Squash with goat’s cheese, roasted peppers, pine kernels, rocket and herb olive oil; arrabiata Linguine spiked with chillies and a classic warm apple tart.
The restaurant was full of locals, working away on laptops and families, latecomers to the groups coming and going, many seemed to know each other. Always a good sign. And that view <sighs>.