Canary wharf is very different to the rest of London. You’ll feel it straight out of the tube station. Its towering skyscrapers cast a shadow on every street, and it is so clean out feels almost clinical. While intimidating, Canary Wharf gives the sense that it is undeniably expensive – in a starched suit, red bottom heels, new city kind of way. That’s why it is quite surprising to find a place like the Big Easy in Canary Wharf. The industrial yet cosy vibe of the Big Easy offers a stark contrast to its suited and booted clientele. Ties loosened, hair down, Canary Wharf’s money makers come here to gorge on seafood and chug on beer… as you should in a southern style lobster shack.
If you want a post work drink or have a reservation and need to wait till you’re seated, the bar offers a wide array of drinks, from beers to cocktails. It gets quite busy at happy hour, but the bartenders remain attentive and friendly. Just make sure to make yourself visible to the bartender. While having a drink, the bartenders also suggest that you read the food menu so you’re ready to order once you’re seated. Good practice! I hate having to wait around til everyone is done deciding what they want.
Food and drinks
From the name itself, the Big Easy promises a New Orleans vibe in a blues meets cajun dining experience. The menu is straight to the point with its heading -barbeque and crabshack. While there is a large range of food to choose from, you know you’d have to try a surf and turf. Seafood is tricky. There’s no in between when cooking shellfish. You either do it well or you don’t. The Big Easy is known for their lobster, so naturally, I had to try it. I had a lobster and steak which was cooked perfectly. The portions were very generous. My friend ordered a whole lobster, which is always fun to eat. My other friend who was not a fan of seafood settled for a burger, which he enjoyed as well. All in all, food is delicious and the cocktails are great.
I have never had food served so quickly. To be completely honest, that makes it a little worrying. The busy restaurant seems to have its efficiency down pat, yes. However, there is something disconcerting with being served a plate of steak and lobster a couple of minutes after your waiter left you – it felt like they have had it waiting somewhere in the kitchen for god knows how long. Also, because everything is too fast paced, it felt like we were being rushed, to be honest. I’d have to say though that at all times the staff were very friendly and attentive.
Book a table in advance, and get there early. You can enjoy some drinks at the bar while you wait. If going to the place for the first time, look for the Crossrail Place on your maps instead of the Big Easy. the Big Easy is inside Crossrail Place, which is a more notable landmark. Be ready to spend around £20-£40 per person for dinner and drinks, but if you’re there for lunch they have a lot of lunch deals you can avail of. Lastly, get ready to get your hands dirty. Dive in and enjoy the messy and delicious madness!
All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and I will definitely be coming to the Big Easy in Canary Wharf again. My friends and I agreed that it was delicious food and it is great value for money. It’s also a great for laughs with your friends as it is not everyday that you try to hold your composure while trying to get the meat out of a lobster claw. Definitely a great place to unwind, and undeniably a gem in this concrete jungle part of town.