Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte, Canary Wharf – restaurant review

We are spoilt for choice in London, and indeed in many cities. We can chance a fishy Japanese breakfast, indulge in lavish Italian lunches, feast at eventide on exotic Indian fare, and feed our need for iffy kebabs in the wee small hours. Every restaurant, café and street cart offers extensive menus showcasing its particular genre.

But ask many a dedicated food lover which dishes they crave, what their elected last meal might be, and they will almost universally state that it has to be unfussy and comforting, something like, say, steak and chips. Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte is a small chain of restaurants that provides that. Yes, just that and only that.

The concept might seem foreign to us butRelais de Venise L’Entrecôte consider… We wax lyrical about the food in France and the dish most often remembered is Steak-Frites with a simple salad and a glass of red. There was that favourite little bistro on the corner of Rue Somethingorother and Boulevard Nameofafrenchphilosopher. The one with the dark-wood sideboards, leather banquettes and paper tablecloths. No, they can’t do that in London.

Well, we do that in London and we do that very well. Or more accurately Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte does. The Canary Wharf branch (they have three restaurants in London) is convincingly Parisienne, and the chairs wouldn’t look out of place in a cheeky little establishment in the 5th Arrondissement, even though the murals of Venice give a nod to the name of the restaurant rather than the country of origin. But the food is the draw.

Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte wineThe menu is, well, short. It’s a green salad with dressing, some bread, and steak and chips. If you only offer one menu item then expectations of the quality of that dish will be high. Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte did not disappoint in any regard. The plate arrived piping hot and piled high. The fries were golden and crisp, but the streak was the star. Cooked to order and sliced, it arrived bathed in the celebrated ‘secret sauce’. We have all been enticed by promises of special sauces and they often fall far short of the mark. A commercial ketchup with chilli or pineapple doesn’t do it for me and seldom enhances one’s platter. But Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte has a sauce that really does have impact. I have a clue as to what might be the key ingredients, but my lips are sealed. One might deduce that it contains a good amount of butter and green herbs, but the staff remain silent.

There are over a dozen desserts on offer here and if you are a perpetually peckish rugby player there might be some chance of making it through to the sweets. The main course is substantial so forgo the offered second helpings if you have a yen for a pud. My guest ordered a confection of light pastry, whipped cream and raspberries. He wasn’t short-changed with the size of this dessert, either. It was the sort of finale that one would find in a real French family-run restaurant. No delicate garnishes, just a big plate of sweet comfort.

Perhaps that’s the ethos here. Keep it simple. It’s old-fashioned good quality, good value food and memorably mouth-watering. We will return soon and often.

Opening Times:
Open every day including Sundays and bank holidays
Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Dinner: 18.00 – 22.00

Tuesday – Thursday
Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Dinner: 18.00 – 22.30

Lunch: 11.45 – 14.30
Dinner: 18.00 – 22.30

Lunch: 12.30 – 15.30
Dinner: 18.30 – 22.00

Lunch: 12.30 – 15.30
Dinner: 18.30 – 21.00

Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte Canary Wharf
18-20 Mackenzie Walk
Canary Wharf
London E14 4PH

Tube: Canary Wharf Jubilee/DLR

Phone +44 (0)20 3475 3331

Visit Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte here

Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018