Restaurant recommendations for near Canary Wharf or ExCel conference venue
I will be attending a conference at the ExCel congress venue and entertaining clients. We'll be staying at the Hilton at Canary Wharf. OK to travel some, but would prefer not to have to travel all the way to the west as some days we'll not be able to start a reservation before 9pm.
Will be a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Generally parties of 3-4 people. Mix of Americans (the foodies in the crowd) and Europeans (who are interested, but not quite as passionate).
Interested in anything "interesting" and different. All about good food, nice wine to pair, actual genre of food less crucial.
Thanks in advance for the advice.
At Canary Wharf there's a lot of choice now. Depending on budget, Roka (for very good sushi and poncy Japanese), Wahaca (for "updated" Mexican, though I'm not sure if Americans will want that), there's a Jamie's Italian for umm..Italian. There's a Conran restaurant (code for generic modernish French/Euro food with minimalist clean lined decor) called Plateau (great view from there, if I remember correctly). There used to be a nice Thai place quite close to the Excel Centre (edge of the water under an overpass, not a particularly great spot, but the food was quite good 4 years ago!!), I think it's called Nahm Thai.
You can take the DLR a very short distance from Custom House for Excel to Yi Ban. It's one of the best dim sum places in London and I would definitely go there if I had to go to anything at the Excel. Their dinner menu may also be very good as the quality of their dim sum is extremely high, but no one on here has really explored it yet.
Having lived in Custom House for a year, I would personally recommend that you don't even bother walking outside of the grounds of the Excel Center (a quick Youtube search for "Canning Town" or "Custom House Canning Town" will reveal why.)
I haven't been in a while, but lots of people recommend The Gun gastropub, which is about a 15 min walk from your hotel. As a plus it has great views of the O2.
Canary Wharf has become quite a foodie area on the quiet - there's loads of choice now. All the restaurants are pretty good. Personally, I go to Plateau a lot. They do a tasting menu in the main restaurant which your foodies will love and they've got a grill too which is a bit more laid back. The service is great and if you're bringing people over to the area for the first time I'd take them there to show them the views.
As well as seconding a recommendation for The Gun (not least because it's a bit more interesting for tourists, given its location and history), there are a couple of very good tapas restaurants in Canary Wharf. Iberica is in the more central part of the Wharf and is great, while Camino is on the river and as well as good food, is a lovely place to sit and watch the sun set on the river.