COLUMBIA - DOCKLANDS

TTF Restaurant Reviews

26 March 2016

When asked to visit COLUMBIA restaurant, a nautical-themed restaurant set within a Doubletree Hotel in London Docklands, I wasn’t quite sure what I could expect. Had I heard of it? No. Did the ‘nautical’ theme, or the fact it was in a Doubletree Hotel, fill me with scepticism? Yes. As I walked through the brightly-lit hotel reception, where the carpets dampen every sound and all you hear is the occasional library-esque cough of someone awaiting a business associate or the sound of laptop keys, my scepticism seemed highly warranted.

 

 

A long, polished steel bar adjoins the main restaurant. A gloriously well-made Old Fashioned down, more bitter than sweet, and we go to our table. The restaurant has dark blue windows, exposed brick, and a lacquered boat deck for a ceiling. However, the ceiling aside, I see no further evidence of a nautical theme at all. A good sign. Our table has a wonderful view of the river, and of Canary Wharf across it. A good selection of beers and an acceptable wine list, and this place hasn’t made a bad start. 

The menu is a limited selection of ‘pubbish’ classics, though all have little tweaks that communicate this is a chef with ambition and skill that is willing to show restraint for the restaurant's clientele in a ‘it’s been a long day and I just want a good steak’ kind of way. An emulsion here, a jus there.

 

 

The Szechuan Peppered Squid is a near-perfect balance of texture, citrus and heat. The Black Pudding Scotch Egg, with sharp piccalilli, is a little - how do I say it - meh,  and not a touch on the squid. 

 

My 10oz Rib-Eye is perfectly cooked, up there with some of the best I’ve had in London. Smokey, charred and further evidence there are people here who can cook. The Triple-Cooked Chips, a fad that shows no sign of ending, are faultless. The Spiced Cod Loin, with a mildly-curried risotto, is far too mild for my taste, but a lime emulsion and crispy shallots add interest.

 

 

Desserts - a Chocolate Pot with Hazelnut and Praline Brittle, and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Salted Caramel Ice Cream - are as good as they sound. Amusingly, just before I forget I’m in a Doubletree hotel, my double espresso comes fresh from the Costa concession nearby.

 

Truth be told, I don’t quite know how to sum up this restaurant. For business people and for tourists using the hotel, this is an excellent, on-your-doorstep eatery which delivers classic dishes to a very high standard and, considering the position and view, offers surprisingly reasonable prices. Would I travel here from Stoke Newington, again, specifically for this restaurant? I’m unsure whether it’s worth an hour journey. Would I recommend it as a place to stay and dine for business people and tourists alike - undoubtedly yes. It’s a find.

Written by Phil Oliver


About the Author

Reviews

Phil Oliver's TryThisFor page

twitter - https://twitter.com/phil_trythisfor

Instagram - https://instagram.com/phil.o.smith/

email - phil@trythisfor.com

Teacher by day - food and drink enthusiast by night (and in the holidays) - Phil has always had a passion for overconsumption. He especially enjoys cooking at home, and finding teachers’ salary-friendly dining options when eating out. Just as happy in ‘The Fat Duck’ as he is a cosy ale and pie pub or independent Stoke Newington coffee shop, Phil believes in stripping back pretence and judging somewhere on the food and experience alone.

Comments


Latest Reviews

  • BIRD - SHOREDITCH Read article
  • 35 NEW CAVENDISH - MARYLEBONE Read article
  • OBICA, ST. PAUL'S Read article

TRENDING

  • NEW RESTAURANT OPENINGS
    Stay firmly in the loop with all of London's recent new restaurant openings!
  • London's Best Brunches
    Nothing's hotter than brunches right now so we've created the mother of all lists... enjoy!
  • BEST MICHELIN LUNCH DEALS
    Our favourite fancies offer affordable alternatives at lunch time - here's part one of our favourites!
  • TTF Recipes
    Not going out? That's cool - stay in and have a go at some of our great recipes. Try This at Home!
  • Best Restaurants in London
    Browse all our lists of some of London's best restaurants.
  • BEST FOR SPRING SUNSHINE
    We’ve turned our attention to the best spots London has to offer to snatch a bit of that early springtime sun.
  • London Pop-Ups
    A list of our favourite pop-up restaurants and bars happening in London right now!
  • Best Seafood Restaurants
    7 of our favourite spots for fans of seafood.

Something Similar

Explore London

TURNER & GEORGE

399 St John Street, Angel EC1V 4LD

PENNETHORNE'S

Somerset House - Strand, WC2R 1LA

ZOILO

9 Duke Street, Marylebone W1U 3EG

LOBSTER BAR

205 Richmond Road, London Fields E8 3NJ

CEVICHE OLD STREET

2 Baldwin Street, Shoreditch EC1V 9NU

GRANGER & CO KING'S CROSS

7 Pancras Square, King's Cross N1C 4AG

FLAT IRON DENMARK ST

9 Denmark St, Soho WC2H 8LS

PERKIN REVELLER

The Wharf at The Tower of London, EC3N 4AB