There’s something really special about Blacklock. I first visited about six years ago, and I remember it being the most fun I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Sure, the food was great, but the staff were such a pleasure to be in the company of – and that’s no different at their newest and biggest restaurant yet, which has just arrived in Canary Wharf.
Hidden beneath the railway arches in Canary Wharf’s North Dock, Blacklock opened their fifth restaurant in the financial district last week – and we were one of the lucky so and sos who got to try it before anyone else. Shall I talk you through exactly how that went down? (Spoilers: it went down very bloody nicely, especially with a carafe of Blacklock’s very own Syrah blend.)
The bar and drinks at Blacklock
The restaurant and bar area gives off serious meat and whiskey vibes from the minute you walk in, and it backs that up with some almighty chops and a bloody good Old Fashioned. We were shown to our seat, and immediately started eyeing up the cocktails.
Clearly in the mood for agave, we opted for a Son of the Soil with mezcal, Aperol, sour cherry, agave and bitters, and a Usual Suspects with jalapeño tequila, Aperol, grapefruit and prosecco. Both were great, but I love me a bit of spice in my cocktails, so the Usual Suspects nabbed top spot for me – plus, the ice kept hitting me in the nose in the other one, so it lost itself some points.
Blacklock are pretty big on wasting absolutely nothing, so their bartenders live by the Pip to Peel Philosophy. This means they use every last drop of fruit across their cocktail menu. There’s also an exclusive ‘Food for Drinking’ menu—making its debut at Blacklock’s Canary Wharf branch—which features classics such as Pork Scratchings, and more inventive bar snacks such as Pigs in Nuggets and Bone Marrow Buns, which are just begging to be dunked into gravy.
The food at Blacklock
Of course we were there for a full blown meal, and naturally we had to go ‘All In’ on the chops. But not before some pre-chop bites; a delicious trio of crackers topped with potted meats & kimchi, egg & anchovy, and cheese & pickle. In truth, I’m gluten intolerant and could only have the cheese & pickle on gluten free crackers – but this was no Branston and Cathedral City. This was very serious, very grown up pickled vegetables with a creamy blue cheese. And it was a smashing way to start the meal.
Next up was what can only be described—quite unsexily—as a Giant Pile of Meat. Compromised of beef, pork and lamb skinny chops, there was enough for the two of us to share… and then some. It was all pretty good, but the beef was always going to be my favourite. All of this usually comes piled atop some charcoal-grilled flatbreads, but since, you know, gluten – they very kindly put them on the side. We also tried a selection of their sauces, including a rather brilliant chilli hollandaise.
We picked a side each (included in the All In cost, which is £25pp), plus a third for good measure. In order of enjoyment, we tried the 10 hour ash roasted sweet potato, the kale & parmesan, and the heritage broccoli & walnut salad. I should say though: none of these were disappointing. I just really like potatoes and cheese.
Devastatingly, we were too full for any of their famous white chocolate cheesecake. It’s iconically served straight from the bowl in which it was made, and you’re trusted to just “say when” as it’s served at your table. Instead, we opted for a Negroni and an Old Fashioned respectively (always room for more liquid), both made from a little trolley that was being wheeled around the restaurant.
All In, this place is just really great. The vibes were brilliant despite it being a large restaurant, the service was spot on (again, despite it being a large restaurant), and the food was… well, it was large. I can’t wait to return for one of their Sunday Roasts I’ve heard so much about, or for “Butcher’s prices” on a Monday.
📍 You’ll also find Blacklock in Soho, Shoreditch, Covent Garden and the City.
Also published on Medium.