The 2Four4 Lounge (New Menu) – Poplar
The 2Four4 Lounge is a “fine dining” eatery that’s part of Docklands Lodge London, “a unique boutique Hotel” that’s conveniently situated on Poplar High Street.
With the hotel lobby entrance also serving as access to 2Four4 Lounge, the restaurant offers seating for 26 in a modern chic setting, with decor that revolves around a black, white and grey colour scheme, coupled with peculiar antelor horns for light shades.
A wall-mounted TV is affixed for the hotel’s morning guests; crisp, clean white tables clothes are no doubt remnants of the place’s fine dining aspirations; and a drinks and coffee counter bar that merges into a semi-open kitchen completes the restaurant’s unique setup.
With the hotel being in walking distance of Poplar DLR Station, it provides easy access to Canary Wharf Business District, the Excel Exhibition Centre, and The O2 Arena.
The plus side is that the restaurant is alcohol-free. The minus is that the mocktails need major improvement.
When you have semi-flat Schwepps as the basis for a Virgin Mojito, you know you’re in trouble. With a hint of lime to this watery concoction, we were left collectively disappointed.
The Virgin Pina Colada wasn’t much better either, with the cream and pineapple barely discernible; thus, leaving only the Cosmopolitan to rescue what was otherwise an underwhelming attempt. This was far stronger both in terms of its flavour, with the lime coming through well, and its fizziness.
Simple, butterflied prawns which, while being soft on the inside, had a crispy-battered exterior that delivered good heat, and was well tempered by the zingy tartar sauce.
Slightly on the chewy- and oily-side, these calamari rings offered an airy- and crispy-battered exterior, and were accompanied by a sweet, salad cream-like sauce that was on the tart-side.
While they were semi-succulent, they were also on the chewy side.
Taste-wise, however, these were pretty good, with the smokiness of their well-charred exterior marrying nicely against the spicy-sweet marination.
The chops came with a simple salad that was drizzled in a white sauce that leant a touch of sour to the dish.
Nothing fancy here other than a beautifully pan-fried sea bass, which was soft on the inside, crispy on the out, and drizzled in a vibrantly orange, tangy sauce and capers.
The chips, however, though crispy, were a big disappointment, amounting to nothing save your bog standard variety.
As the name suggests, and with world-renowned Billingsgate Fish Market just around the corner, this cod was gorgeous.
With that familiarly satisfying smell and taste of good quality cod, this was soft and flaky, and covered in a light crispy-cum-crunchy batter.
Nevertheless, while the sauce had evidently split, it tasted good, lending a tart edge to a satisfying plate of food.
And as with all the main dishes, there was your default salad drizzled in a white sauce, as an accompaniment.
What’s more, the chips were far better than the above, large and chunky, while being crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Covered in a tasty herb and garlic sauce, the prawns were decently cooked and, despite the turf being a cut of fillet beef, easily the better half of this dish.
Hence, what was supposed to be tender and soft meat, turned out to be anything but.
Although cooked medium, not only was it fibrous and relatively chewy, but also had an unpleasant odour to it.
With toasted brioche buns that were crispy, along with tender and beautifully flavoured sirloin steak pieces covered in two slices of cheese, this burger had bright red strips of pickle which, when combined with the tartare sauce, married beautifully with the sweetness of the caramelised sautéed onions.
Unfortunately, we were back to those mediocre chips.
While the warm brownie turned out to be a fairly dense one, it certainly required both the fruity tartness of the berries and the smooth vanilla ice cream to help cut through its dark chocolatey richness.
It was presented atop a plate of drizzled strawberry sauce and sprinkled in crushed bits of meringue. Not bad at all!
A fine Crème Brûlée this, with its crispy, delicate top and a delightfully creamy custard beneath that was light without being overly sweet.
Dense and stodgy to the point of it being difficult to spoon through even with some exertion of force.
The same mixture of berries was again served with the ‘cake’ alongside a light drizzle of some insipid sweet sauce.
And with the accompanying vanilla ice cream slightly crystalised, this was, on the whole, rather average.
TEAS & COFFEES
With a coffee-making machine, 2Four4 Lounge offers a selection of teas and coffees.
We opted for the Strawberry & Raspberry, which had a good, fragrant aroma to it; an Earl & Grey Decaf, which had a light citrusy taste and a soothing lemony aroma; and your standard English cuppa, which you couldn’t go wrong with.
We also went for a Cappuccino when we first arrived, which had strength of flavour, was smooth in consistency, and came with its typical frothy top.
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- FREE WIFI
There aren't too many Halal restaurants that open in London, or anywhere else in the UK for that matter, that boldly declare themselves as a "fine dining" establishment. Hence, after publishing news of their opening back in May with the title: "'Fine Dining' in East London’s Docklands Lodge Hotel", this was one eatery we decided to pay close attention to.
Have they lived up to their claim: "Our attention to detail is portrayed not just in our sophisticated decor, but also in our food, we pride ourselves in taste and presentation"?
While taking into consideration that they've only recently decided on shifting their focus from the lofty standards of "fine dining" towards something more manageably casual, their food appears to hover somewhere in between average and good.
Nonetheless, their service was excellent, with staff ultra-attentive and ready to assist on the double.
The 2Four4 Lounge offers breakfast everyday between 9am-11am, along with an all-day and kids menu served between 12pm-10pm, Monday-Saturday.
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The 2Four4 Lounge
244 Poplar High St, Poplar,
London E14 0BB.
T: +44 (0)20 7987 9904 | W: the2four4lounge.co.uk
Opening Hours: Sat-Sun 09:00-23:00, Mon-Fri 09:00-22:00