Tearing ourselves away from a viewing party for the royal wedding one Saturday was quite a feat. With the sun glistening and street parties calling it was with mixed feelings that we made our way to Canary Wharf for our bottomless brunch reservation at Bokan (booked before we had qotten swept up in royal wedding fever).
We had heard great things about the restaurant and were eager to try it but we couldn’t help feeling a little ‘fomo’ as we navigated our own way to the restaurant from the station after Google maps led us astray.
As a result we arrived later than expected, panicking as we knew brunch reservations finished at 2pm. When we arrived to the 38thfloor of Novotel Canary Wharf we were instantly put at ease by front of house staff who assured us we had enough time to order before last orders at 2.30pm.
And what a fantastic space we entered – spread over three floors. You arrive first into the bar area, and are taken either to your table here, downstairs to the restaurant or upstairs to the indoor and outdoor roof terrace area.
Bokan does well for first impressions. The interiors are refined and modern with an industrial edginess that does not quite befit its postcode but certainly ticks the box. Copper is a key fixture alongside exposed wooden floors matching wooden clipboard menus and leather chairs and booths fitted with animal hide covers and leather belts.
In addition, the views externally are absolutely spectacular, and as we looked west from this elevated eatery we spotted the Shard, Walkie Talkie and London Eye.
While the restaurant gets right the design and its ambience – the mood relaxed and friendly but not too casual thanks to attentive staff – the food here is outstanding and really seals the deal. (What royal wedding??)
Bottomless brunch is a two-hour, three-course set menu (£49 pp) and has the added appeal of being available Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. For a set menu – European inspired – there is a very good array of choice, acknowledging all tastes.
We began with Italy and France; the generous Pugliese burrata arrived accompanied by tangy lemon marinated courgette and rustic bread.
Joining it at the table was an Onion tarte tatin with smoked Chantilly which suffered ever so slightly due to a generous addition of cream cheese. Points were high for presentation on both, with the tarte tatin standing out for a less traditional display and addition of cured meat.
We continued with fish choices and more prosecco. It’s worth noting staff keep the prosecco away from the table on ice but are diligent in ensuring that your glass is topped up as the volume decreases.
While we were really pleased with our starters we were extremely impressed with the Seared seabream and Roasted line caught cod.
Served with a tomato and basil sauce, the well-portioned seabream was cooked to perfection, it’s skin crisp and it’s sweet flesh offset by olive paste, all presented on a bed of chunky artichoke.
Falling apart in thick chunks and rich in flavour the cod was served with a shrimp emulsion which was plentiful in whole shrimps. The emulsion gave me even more reason to tuck in to the tasty homemade loaf that had been first served to the table and use it to dip. Probably not the most civilised way to go about it but this was too good to waste!
Sipping our way through our prosecco, enjoying the expertise of the Bokan chef’s and admiring the wonderful views of London basked in sunshinewe had quite happily forgotten about the wedding of year. Until I spied near the bar in the restaurant an elaborate three tier cake decorated in red roses – a replica royal wedding cake!
This one too featured lemon and elderflower exactly like the one created by Violet’s bakery for Harry and Meghan’s big day. Luckily for us it was an option for dessert, a special one-off for the day that it was.
Bokan’s replica was thankfully light and airy, with hints of lemon and to a lesser extent the elderflower, but it was all very well complimented by fresh raspberry coulis. There was no way we would have had this lovely addition at a street party!
Our time at Bokan was immensely enjoyable and as we meandered our way back home I thought to myself, how wonderful it was that they had gone to the effort of creating a replica wedding cake (it was originally six tiers) and what better way to celebrate the day than raising a glass of bubbly over exquisite food looking out onto the city where The Duke and Duchess of Sussex first met, and will live.