Sunday, 5 May 2013

Weekend in Little Venice Part 2 The Waterway Restaurant Review

I've been passing a certain restaurant on my running route along the canal way from Queens Park to Little Venice and because there are no signage visible from the water way I've not known what the restaurant was called.

I've really wanted to try this particular place out as its not in the heart of Little Venice but just outside and it has a nice view of Sakura (cherry blossoms) and a big old church next to a school which is quite nice for that particular waterway as just up the road are council flats, a motor way and a factory!

The Venue:
The Waterway
54 Formosa Street
London, W9 2JU
Tel: 020 7266 3557

Reviewers: My self and my fiance Kristine both passionate about food, Kris has owned her own catering company in the Philippines and I'm a chef in training.

Allergy notes: The menus had no allergy information however the waiters were happy to change certain things and the menu does mention that. 
Environment: The Waterside is a small to medium sized restaurant which sits right next to the canal side and allows you to watch passing boats or the petals fall off all the local cherry blossom treas, the location is very nice and as its just outside of Little Venice it feels a bit hidden which gives you that off the beaten track feeling just a little bit.

The crowd that was dining were mainly local middle class Londoners who were all chatty but polite and subdued.

We didn't spend much time inside the Restaurant but it seemed cozy and clean inside the main building and I'd guess it would make an excellent meet up spot for friends and locals alike.

The outside has two main areas, the raised, decked canopy area for dining outdoors and a sunken picnic spot which would be nice for a quick snack.

The decor outside is a little off as the childish deck chairs look like they were taken from a park and the metal tables in the canopy area have seen better days, its also a little cramped which can take away from the mood.

Finally I didn't check but my Fiance attests that the toilets were nice and clean. (female)

My score 8/10 
Kris's score 9/10

The Service: We were treated well and it was at a very busy time that we were eating, we were shown our table, brought menus and even the food was delivered very quickly.

When your dining out doors they waiters ask that you give your card to start a tab or to pay cash there and then which I thought was a little odd and did put me at odds a little although you can easily walk off from outside, I would have expected a bit more trust.

I unfortunately was sitting near one of the patio heaters and I felt like I was dining in heat which was a bit too much south of comfortable even Kris who sat opposite me felt it and the heater was behind me.

The cutlery was clean and all matching set which was nice the condiments were a little fast food for me, typical ketchup and mayo in small ceramic pots and mine had some extra sweet chili on the side, the salt and pepper shakers were a little beat up as well!

My score 7/10 
Kris's score 7/10

The Food: For me the food was the most disappointing part of dining at the Waterside, the menu looks great, the food sounds like classy pub food with some twists.

The reality wasn't so good, we both ordered grilled jerk chicken which sounded fantastic, a sweet fruity coleslaw to compliment the spicy chicken. What we got was flavorless barbecue chicken and a coleslaw which had a whole lot of carrots a pinch of sliced apple and a few raisins with hardly any sauce. The chicken was also cooked with rosemary (which I like with pork and chicken) however the herbs were burnt beyond having any flavor and and pretty sure I had two thighs, I prefer thighs but to pay £14.50 and get the cheaper cut of chicken didn't seem right. The worst part of our meal was the chips, they were clearly oven chips, they weren't even the best oven chips I'd even had. 

I'm pretty sure they saved a lot of money cooking thighs, bulking the coleslaw with carrots and buying oven chips but I wasn't happy. 

The Iced Tea cheered me and up and made me think that their cocktails might be something they excel at, it was mild, sweet and fresh at the same time.

In hindsight the next time I dine out and write a review I'll make sure to order a different meal than the other reviewers and maybe ask for the speciality first, so I apologize for that, I did however notice the Waterside Burger looked very good and was very popular.

It looked hand made, it looked juicy and it had a toasted sesame bun to go with it.
I talked to a couple who had the burger and although they were very friendly and polite they gave a very vague review which isn't really worth mentioning they said it was OK basically. Our waiter informed me that it was the most popular dish there, it still came with the oven chips though!

Based on the food, we didn't order any desert I wasn't going to pay any more money for the cheapest of ingredients.

Overall they save a lot on ingredients in the meals and if you do eat there and enjoy burgers go for that and or buy an ice tea or something mixed, we will go back again for drinks but probably not food.

My score 5/10 
Kris's score 7/10

Final verdict: 
My score 6.5

Kris's score 7

I wanted to give it more, I really did, its a nice location but they should focus on their food more, mainly the ingredients.
We will try the Summerhouse which is a floating restaurant owned by the same group just a bit further up the canal, some time soon and run a comparison.

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