Big Easy – Canary Wharf review
The Big Easy at Canary Wharf is now the flagship site for this iconic BBQ pit & crabshack. The latest addition to the group is located just behind One Canada Square at CrossRail Place, directly above the impending transport hub’s terminus.
Inside the impressive Norman Foster designed building, the restaurant space on the top floor has been intricately styled with reclaimed wooden floors, distressed leather, wooden beams, shipping ropes and lanterns, providing an aged, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere inside the glass walled building that overlooks modern high rise offices.
The entrance sets the tone of the restaurant, with views into the kitchen pass, there are flames of parrilla grills, meat searing and crab shells being cracked. As with the care taken in the design, the menu also focusses on the detail of sourcing and preparing – producing fine dining food quality. It features Nova Scotia lobster, USDA prime grain-fed steak and two 2 tonne smokers which were imported from the US that are now manned 24 hours a day by pitmasters, ensuring the ‘long and slow’-cooked meat – which is all prepared on site- is permanently at its prime.
Once inside, the clever design breaks up a huge space, creating an atmospheric, sophisticatedly stylised restaurant, with many different areas available for private events.
The Captain’s Table is a beautifully designed private room for up to 26 guests. With a touch of ‘Jack Sparrow’ about it, the highbacked wooden chairs were designed and hand-carved especially to sit around the vast long wooden table. Striking chandeliers and antler-candle holders are complemented by the glass fronted cupboards of crockery and glassware, giving the feel of a true captain’s table. For a buzzy ambience, the doors to the private room can be opened to enjoy the nightly live music from the Rum Lounge, or for a breath of fresh air on a summer’s evening, guests can enjoy the stunning heated private terrace (which also runs round the entire restaurant). But don’t be fooled by the ‘old world’ design, behind a distressed map on the far wall, there’s a 60 inch TV screen and a top IT/AV spec to facilitate any board meeting or presentation needs.
The Rum Lounge is also available to be sectioned off for private hire for parties of between 50-100. There’s a minimum spend rather than room hire dependent on time and date of event. With views over to Docklands rail and beyond, a heated balcony area outside, bar seats and occasional tables and live bands playing upbeat blues nightly, it’s the perfect area for leaving parties, relaxed drinks and the Big Easy’s substantial canapes such as sliders, wings and popcorn shrimp.
Two Warehouse Bays provide semi-private space for larger sit down events for up to 50 guests. With chicken wire walls, wooden tables, old lantern style lighting and views of One Canada Square, it’s a truly unique space for an event. There’s no room hire, but a minimum spend does apply depending on time and date of event.
The Chef’s Table is also reservable – a sleek wooden high table for up to 12 guests that’s between the buzzing bar and kitchen, it’s a great place for relaxed after work drinks or team celebrations.
There are also diner-style booths around the bar area which can be reserved, as can the ‘lobster pots’ – two heated booths outside on the terrace that seat 8 to 10.
Party menus for between 11 and 35 guests are sharing style with surf n’ turf, seafood, BBQ blow out or ‘big experience’ options starting at £20 for vegetarian rising to £65. Bar bites start at £25 per person for a minimum of 10 guests. Larger parties are arranged on a bespoke basis.
It’s worth noting that some menus are priced lower for lunch to 5pm events and there’s also a fabulous option of drinks, with alcoholic ‘slushies’ in a variety of irresistible flavours (kick-ass lemonade, mojito, margarita, pina colada etc) as well as the Big Easy’s own brew – a light and honeyed ale -EasyBrew. There’s also a high rollers wine list with amazing wines at substantially lower than normal mark up and a ridiculously large whisky and bourbon menu.
With live music every night, a fabulously buzzy bar and great private and semi-private spaces, its relaxed atmosphere combined with top-level surf n turf cuisine means it’s a great venue for a relaxed Christmas party, deal celebration or even smaller get together in a smaller booth.
Boasting a total capacity of 260 inside and 120 outside on the terrace, The Big Easy Canary Wharf can also be hired for exclusive events – price on application.