CHEF MATTHEW COLK'S INSIDER GUIDE TO CANARY WHARF
Fish Game's Executive Chef Talks us Through Canary Wharf's Best Food and Drink Spots
Matthew Colk is Executive Head Chef at Fish Game, Canary Wharf’s shiny, new dining destination which - true to its name - puts seafood, wild meat and ultra-seasonal British ingredients centre stage in a culinary theatre, thanks to a bank of diner-facing grills at the heart of the restaurant.
The pared back, changing menu features fish and game, meticulously sourced from around the UK, with show-stopping dishes including rabbit croquettes with marjoram mayonnaise, mussels with venison nduja and monkfish, slow-cooked over charcoal.
Chef Colk joined Roberto Costa, founder of Italian steakhouse group Macellaio RC, to launch Fish Game last month, celebrating their shared passion for the best edible elements from the earth, sea and sky, brought together by fire. These elements are tastefully represented in the decor - including elaborate, octopus wood carvings. And with sustainability being a central pillar for the restaurant, the interior also features vintage and beautifully reclaimed furniture.
Colk's love for fish began in Lincolnshire, where he worked as a kitchen porter at his local fish and chip shop. He’s spent the past 16 years perfecting his culinary alchemy as Head Chef at The Gun in Docklands - working with Billingsgate fishmongers and creating inventive seafood and game menus - as well as restaurants like Borough Market’s Roast, and The Royal Automobile Club.
With his passion for high quality produce and broad kitchen experience, from gastropub to fine dining, we wanted to know where Chef Colk eats and drinks around Canary Wharf, when he’s not sizzling rabbit and monkfish at Fish Game. So he has helpfully walked us through a day in the life of his discerning stomach.
Matthew Colk is Executive Chef at Fish Game, 14 Water St, London E14 5GX
There are a few places I get my coffee in Canary Wharf, but one of my favourites has to be the coffee from Mercato Metropolitano. I like my coffee with a high acidity and not too bitter, and they get it just right. It’s also VERY handy that it’s just behind Fish Game.
Mercato Metropolitano, 6 George Street, London, E14 9QG
THE IVY IN THE PARK
It varies a lot depending on how much time I’ve got in the morning – it ranges from a lemon muffin from Waitrose (a quick breakfast I’m always happy with) to a delicious bacon sandwich from Yolk in Cabot Squsre.
However, If I’m going all out and having a full breakfast - the past couple of times I’ve indulged in The Ivy. The breakfast there is extremely good and the restaurant itself is a lovely place to spend the morning.
The Ivy in the Park, 50 Canada Square Park, London E14 5FW
Café Brera is a personal favourite of mine, you can always rely on them. The sandwich selection is always amazing alongside a range of fresh pizzas and pasta on offer – what more could you need? I’m also a fan of The Lowback in Hawksmoor Wood Wharf – the burgers are extremely good and their cocktails are always on point.
Cafe Brera, 38e, Jubilee Place, 45 Bank St, London E14 5NY
For dinner, my personal favourite in Canary Wharf is the recently opened Blacklock. The décor is amazing, service is excellent and of course - the food is fantastic, From the large steaks to the small bites – everything was very good. I highly recommend going for the lamb chops, then finishing with a very generous portion of white chocolate cheesecake.
Blacklock, 5 Frobisher Psge, London E14 4EE
Nº35 MACKENZIE WALK
My favourite spot for drinks in Canary Wharf is No35 Mackenzie Walk. It's a very relaxed spot, and perfect for meeting up with friends. For sunny days, there’s plenty of outside seating and the staff are always amazing. They have a good selection of draught beers and great cocktails.
I also love The Gun pub which Is just a 10 minute walk from Wood Wharf, right on the river facing the O2 arena – however, I am slightly biased as I worked there for a few years.
No 35 Mackenzie Walk, 29 - 35 Mackenzie Walk, Canary Wharf, E14 4PH
TEMPLE OF ART AND MUSIC
A great spot, which is hidden beneath Mercato Metropolitano is TAM - a cocktail and jazz bar. The perfect after-work destination. A great evening of live music, accompanied by fantastic tipples.
TAM, 6 George St, Wood Wharf, London E14 9QG