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REVIEW: Brown's, West India Quay, Canary Wharf


Whilst looking for somewhere close by and not too expensive for dinner, major_clanger and I came across Brown's which is part of a chain.  The booking process whether on line of by phone is simple and efficient.

On arrival we were seated at the back in a warm corner on request as we had tramped through a few inches of snow.  Although, by London standards felt like Captain Oates stepping outside for a while.  However, that table was not to remain ours.  A couple sitting across and down one table made sure of this.  The woman had such a loud piercing voice that it hurt.  She veered from a Brooklyn trash accent to mildly essex.  It set my teeth on edge and would have bothered me throughout dinner, so we moved.  

However the biggest complaint was the muzak that reverberated throughout the entire building.  They could could only turn it down slightly.  It was insipid beats from a place trying to be so hip its behind would fall off.

We started with a bottle of a South Australian Shiraz and a peppermint tea.  The peppermint tea materialised as fresh mint and hot water which was perfect.  The starters comprised of; Duck parfait, Mushroom Borderlaise and Box Baked Camembert.  The Duck parfait was pleasant, the mushrooms in a tart sauce were beautifully hot,  The Box Baked Cambert on the other hand needs a little explanation.  It was an entire Lescure Brie wheel baked in it's box with an apple and beetroot sauce on top.  It also had a garlic clove in the middle.  It was nice but the contrast between the cheese and the accent was not enough.  Also the entire wheel of brie which was only counterbalanced by a small splurge of topping was out of kilter.  Had it been half the size with twice the topping, it would have been a big improvement.

We followed this with; jugged lamb with pearl barley, belly pork and scallops.  The jugged lamb wet down very well and was smooth and delicate and the parsnips were excellently cooked but not soggy.  The belly pork was succulent and lovely but the crackling was rather chewy.  The accompanying cauliflower bread and butter pudding was nicely stodgy and tasted of turmeric.  My scallops turned up warm but not hot.  Appropriately cooked and on mashed peas let the scallops speak for themselves however the beetroot relish with melon dressing tasted suspiciously like the beetroot and apple topping on the brie.

The deserts were a mixed bunch.  The sticky toffee pudding could not be faulted.  The Apple and Blackberry Tarte a tatin was not hot and the pastry underside was scorched.  

The liqueur coffees were very nice and met requirements even wen we asked to experiment.  Hint - try substituting the whiskey in an irish coffee for Frangelico - a very nice result.

Food 4/5 - Missing temperatures on food stopped this from being a 5/5
Service 4/5 - Waitress was lovely and knew her stuff but thanks to the music and her accent, could not always understand her.
Surroundings - 2/5 for the totally crap and far too fraking loud muzak

To improve - shoot that sound system.
Would I got back - yes, with ear plugs.

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I don't recall the Cambridge Brown's having a sound system. If it has it has never intruded on my visits there. You have reminded me that I haven't been there for some time.

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