We have heard good things about The Gun in the Docklands – to the extent that it has been identified as one of the best gastro’s in the area – so we were really looking forward to our visit. The Gun is hidden away in behind a housing estate in the docklands rather unassumingly and lies on theThamesdirectly opposite the O2. As we walked in we were welcomed to a large room with a number of dining tables and a long bar at the back. There was a warm lively atmosphere which was emphasised by the warm afternoon sun shining through the large windows at the front. This was clearly an old building but the front room had been decorated so that is was fresh and modern while still retaining some characteristic that kept it charming. So far so good, however we were taken to our table in the back room. We had to firstly go through a dark wooden panelled corridor, which was only allowed for single file manoeuvring and into a lounge type area that was rather tired, old and space wasting. We then had to walk through the lounge area (which by the way, was full of prams, children and annoyingly attentive parents) and onto another dark enclosed corridor into a small dark room that had three tables in it. Its lack of size was emphasised by the dark wood panels surrounding the walls and floor along with cluttered tin jugs that hung above our heads; there must have been over 100!
Our table looked out onto the balcony. The views of the Thames and the 02 Arena were second to none but we couldn’t help staring at the 02 and wondering what a waste the Millennium Dome was and our fellow diners seemed to be thinking the same thing as the conversation soon turned to government spending and lack of innovation – great Sunday lunch time conversation we hear you cry.
We were served by a pleasant waitress and we ordered an English white wine fromKentthat was fresh and crisp. We then chose our Sunday lunch options; unlike some gastro’s The Gun’s Sunday lunch menu was not limited to three roasts of the days and a vegetarian option. Instead there was a wide selection of exciting English inspired dishes which were well thought out.
We chose the cold smoked salmon salad with potatoes and quail eggs, which was nicely presented and delicious. The salmon flaked when touched with a fork and it clearly showed that it was freshly prepared earlier that day with the quail eggs still runny inside. Our fellow diner ordered the calf brain (which we had originally intended on having until the young waitress pleaded with one of our table to order as she was ‘dying’ to see it as it was ‘new to the menu’ – so we quickly changed our choice needless to say), the calf brain was not as exciting to the eye as we had hoped and we were glad that we had not chosen it. It looked like McDonalds chicken nuggets and although the meat was almost like a wonderful cloud in texture, the breadcrumbs around it were just not crispy enough nor seasoned properly.
For main course we ordered pork roast; the piece of meat was generous in size and came with an amazing crackling on top. The Yorkshire pudding was large and crisp though lacked much softness in the middle, which was disappointing and the vegetables seemed as though they had been waiting under a warm plate for a few minutes too long. We also ordered the stuffed rabbit leg with gnocchi and asparagus, as well as ordering a side of peas and bacon lardons. The rabbit leg came out crisply wrapped inParmaham and the mushroom stuffing inside was delicious and well seasoned. There were large squares of gnocchi which circled the rabbit leg and looked rather odd, and to be honest did not go well with the roasted leg of rabbit and its rather rustic qualities. Mashed potato and red cabbage would have worked far better in our ignorant opinion. Our peas and bacon side had still not arrived when we were over half way through our main course so we had to actually get up out of our seats and walk, wait for it… yes through the corridor, past the screaming toddlers, through the other tight corridor and into the main dining area to get their attention. The waitress looked flustered and blamed the chef although it was clear she had completely forgotten the order, needless to say we were not impressed. Although when they did arrive it was delicious.
For dessert we ordered a selection of sorbets and our friend ordered a sticky toffee pudding. The sorbets were brightly coloured, pink (raspberry), green (apple) and deep purple (blackberry) and all were deliciously sour; a real palette cleanser. The sticky toffee was rich and sickly like a good sticky toffee ought to be.
We have mixed feelings about this place as although the front of the restaurant is perfect, the back is less so and although the service is good it is rather amateur and although the menu and food quality is exciting some of the choices are not well executed. Taking this onboard with our excitement of trying this place, Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls can only award The Gun:
Food Atmosphere Service