On a sunny day St Katherine Docks could be St Tropez and Nick finds the cooking at Dokke a beautiful breath of exotic lands across the sea.
Getting to St Katherine Docks from Tower Bridge Station involves crossing some wide and fast roads, with interminable waits for the little green man. There are better routes apparently, but it’s all a bit confusing around there what with a lot of tourists getting in the way and asking you if that’s the Houses of Parliament over there.
Once you’re in the docks however, the world changes. No traffic noise, just that merry clinking that yacht ropes like to make as they tap against the masts and which always make me think of summer holidays.
Restaurants line the quays with only their signs to distinguish them, this being a conservation area the frontages all required to look the same.
Dokke (the ‘e’ is silent) is at one end of a dock, so benefits from not having passing people spoiling the peace of its outside tables. Inside it’s a compact room with an open kitchen at one end. A kitchen that’s not the usual rather soulless affair but one that could be your own, at least in your dreams. Comfortable, relaxed and with counters brimming with good-looking produce. Unlike mine.
Here Chef Patron Neil Wager is in charge, back on dry land after years of cheffing around the world on sun-drenched islands. In fact it’s not really a restaurant per se but a place for brunch, lunch and dinner and I’ve come at his invitation to try a bit of just about everything on the menu.
We sit outside looking down on all the lovely yachts, pretending not to envy those sitting on board. This is hard, because I do, and they know it. Damn them and their baggy shorts and docksiders. So to whet your appetite here are the dishes and in photos (click to enlarge).
I have to say each was delicious and deliciously instagrammable. Chef creates fabulous fusions of flavours, quite unlike anything else I’ve encountered recently.
I only had a few bites of each but it was enough to wholeheartedly recommend you put on your docksiders and get Dokkeside soon.
· Dokke breakfast
· Super green frittata
· Crispy potato with black pudding and kimchee
· Sushi maki rolls
· Red hot chilli burger and not so hot burger
· KFC (Kosho fried chicken)
· Chorizo miso
· Crab charcoal risotto
· Wasabi salt baked tuna
· Green papaya curry
· Bulgogi rump of beef
· Asian lobster Bloody Mary salad