Bōkan 37 in Canary Wharf: A sumptuous and innovative vegan menu with an incredible backdrop
After opening its doors to diners in 2017, Bōkan 37 has steadily welcomed equitable praise for its delectable modern European dining with incredible sky-high views over Canary Wharf and the Docklands.
The restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace – occupying the 37th, 38th and 39th floors of the Novotel hotel respectively – offer a dreamy palette of earthy tones throughout, with aged wooden panels, cowhide upholstery and timeless marbled effects, paired with an industrial design edge.
French executive chef Guillaume Gillan, who took the role in early 2019 after training at prestigious restaurants such as Alain Ducasse’s Le Grill in Monaco and Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, offers up a sumptuous and innovative vegan tasting menu for World Vegan Month.
We are shown to a table with impossibly crystal-clear floor-to-ceiling views over London and served a basket of homemade warm bread, paired with oil and balsamic vinegar to start. An amuse-bouche arrives shortly after and offers an explosion of flavours. A zesty liquorice note dominates the dish with earthy torn herbs giving an almost medicinal aroma.
Our starter arrives next, accompanied by a subtle white (Le Bosq, 2018). This particular plate is an Instagrammer’s dream, served on mottled, designer earthenware and sprinkled with edible flowers. We graze on colourful, thin shavings of rainbow radish and vibrant green macadamia pesto whilst pretty, pale dustings of horseradish snow add a spicy potency to the subtler flavours of the dish. This is followed by a warming sunflower yellow velouté of sweetcorn and saffron, playful pieces of popped corn sitting alongside smoky-tasting charred kernels and crispy polenta, whilst tiny cubes of clove jelly spark a feeling of Christmas.
Next up is a robust, savoury main of incredibly soft pumpkin tagliolini, before we head to a sweeter offering of jerusalem artichoke with a chestnut ragu that exudes the welcoming, aromatic notes of spicy cardamom.
Finishing up with a perfectly softened poached pear with delicious homemade frangipani and freshly prepared pear sorbet, we are left sated but not overwhelmingly stuffed. It’s a story of flavours that marry so perfectly.
Each dish here at Bōkan 37 is painstakingly plated, whether it be the puree poured before us from a ceramic jug, or the gentle tweezer readjustment of herbs whilst freshly scooping sorbet at the table. It is evident that Gillan is heading for dizzying heights – and he’s in the perfect spot to reach them.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Arianna Cavalensi
To book a table at Bōkan 37, Floor 37-39 40 Marsh Wall London E14 9TP, call 020 3530 0550 or visit their website here.