Did you know that we have Cyprus in London? Yeah, there's a Cyprus on the DLR! Sun and sand is closer than you think. Except in this Cyprus I suppose you'd have to make do with Sun(days) and sand (dust).
But anyway, one stop away from Cyprus, in E16, is The Reach Bar & Kitchen, a newly opened cosy little gastropub set in a old grade (I or II) listed building, which looks rather picturesque set by the Thames swooshing away.
Being in the location that it is, I think this pub is better then the clientele that it serves. On the other side of London, or Shoreditch (I get a bit of a Shoreditch vibe to it), it would have been perfect. Which is a shame, because I really liked The Reach :-)
It's pretty relaxed. Live music is playing as we walk in (great idea) but we had to wander around for a bit until we found someone to tell them about our reservation. I guess the place was only half full, so I suppose it didn't really matter. My boyfriend and I chose a seat in the corner in the other room away from the live music (it gets pretty loud) and ordered vino (for me) and the beer on draft (for him. He approved.).
But before I ramble on, I've got to say the manager James (at least I think it's James? If you're name isn't James I apologise but I'm going to call you James from now on. Hi James!) was the nicest and most welcoming and friendliest manager-and-pseudo-waiter I'd been served by. Top guy!
As we were flicking through the menu we noticed that The Reach buys local. We like local.
We were super impressed that the seafood from Billingsgate market in Canary Wharf, meat & poultry from Smithfields and vegetables form New Covent Garden. And a freezer free policy, hurrah!
Bread and butter to start. Bread was fluffy, butter was, well.... buttery? Nothing special, but much appreciated :-) I do like it when you get bread at the start of a meal.
We went for the Teriyaki Beef Brochette Thai Salad (£8.50) between us to start, as it sounded the most interesting ("What's brochette?" "I don't know!" "Let's try that!" "Sure!!"). The spicy and limey and minty dressing was delicious, but I couldn't help feeling that the salad was some variations of Tescos salad mix?? And the beef, don't get me wrong it was a great marinade, was a teeny bit chewy.
My boyfriend chose the Grilled Whole Duck Breast honey and thyme sauce, home made creamy mash, sauté vegetables (£12.50) for mains. Man, don't get me started about this mash. As in, in a good way. The mash, oh the mash. I could go on about the mash for days. The duck was good too. But not like the mash.
I want to put my face in the mash.
I had the Lamb Cutlets with rosemary juice and homemade creamy mash (£13.50). Lamb was excellent, and tender and juicy and cooked just how I like it. Hooray!
But I still want to put my face in the mash.
We spent so much of the evening talking that by the time we'd come round to dessert the kitchen had closed. Oops, that's my fault.
Overall, I highly higly rate the food here, especially the mains (oh the mash!) which is terrifically good value. And the service from James the Manager was beyond superb. Live music was super fun on a Friday evening and a great addition (if a little loud for my ageing and frail ears!). Would I come back? Yes, if I were in the area. But only if I can have the mash and lamb, served from James the manager, please!
I was a guest of The Reach Bar & Kitchen.
The Reach Bar & Kitchen
Albert Basin Way
020 7476 8689
Have a great week all!