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

ASSADO

157 Waterloo Road, Waterloo SE1 8XA

RITA'S BAR AND DINING

175 Mare Street, Hackney E8 3RH

JONES AND SONS

Arcola Street, Dalston E8 2DJ

TAPAS REVOLUTION

58 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 8JW

KUROBUTA CHELSEA

312 King's Road, Chelsea SW3 5UH

SIMPSON'S-IN-THE-STRAND

100 Strand, Covent Garden WC2R 0EW

THE HARWOOD ARMS

Walham Grove, Fulham SW6 1QP

LOBSTER KITCHEN

111 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NQ