Restaurant review: The Water Poet, E1

Sea Bass with samphire salad

Sea Bass with samphire salad - Credit: Archant

Tucked away, slightly off the beaten track, you may only stumble across The Water Poet when making a wrong turn – but it’ll be one of the best wrong turns you’ve ever made.

As the weather heats up, the self-styled “multi-tasking” pub has launched a BBQ menu so diners can make the most of its leafy courtyard.

Cooked in front of you from a makeshift shack, there are nine complex but well-balanced mains which mean everybody’s tastes are catered for.

The grilled Sea Bass fillet with a samphire salad – laced with chilli – is punchy, but at the same time fragrant with fennel and mint.

For those really in touch with their carnivorous side, there’s plenty of game and beef too.


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Sliced Lamb’s leg – delicately spiced with a pine nut and pomegranate tabouleh salad – is tender and zingy, while the half Cotswold chicken – roasted with chorizo and saffron – sees English and Spanish collide in a battle of flavours as tasty as it sounds.

There’s also a real Mediterranean feel to many of the dishes to match the warmer climate, while offering a hefty selection for vegetarians.

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A main of heritage tomatoes comes with feta, oregano and olives, while the orzo pasta is accompanied by baba ganoush, walnuts and courgettes.

What’s great about The Water Poet is it manages to achieve what so many other pubs fail at: separate pub from dining.

Indoor tables are separated off in a designated dining room while the courtyard also has an inside section which shoots off into a barn, meaning there’s plenty of room. A canopy also provides insurance cover for the unreliable British weather.

Situated in Folgate Street, off Bishopsgate, the gastropub easily escapes your notice – making its boast of being a hidden “gem” a just one.

Bar staff are well versed in what’s on offer and are friendly and relaxed, but the service is professional and prompt.

Essentially, The Water Poet pulls off ‘fine dining’ and ‘traditional British pub’ side-by-side without either infringing on the other.

Whether it’s a plate of BBQd fried gold, or a hearty pint from the specialist ale and beer pumps, The Water Poet is well worth venturing off the beaten track for.

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