The Isle of Dogs, near Canary Wharf, doesn’t quickly come to mind when you’re thinking of somewhere to go out. Hubbub could change this. With food this good, and very agreeable prices, it’s certainly worth the trip.
Hubbub shares a nineteenth century former chapel with a performance auditorium - all under the umbrella name of The Space. The restaurant sits upstairs under the eaves; a cosy room, it has a copper-topped bar in the corner, complete with bubbling fish tank. Battered wood tables and mismatched chairs battle for space with an L-shaped leather sofa. Exposed brickwork, fairy lights and candles add warmth and the net effect is a comfortable, warm room.
You can expect the stools around the bar to be filled with regulars chatting with the friendly manager and bar staff. The tables are often occupied by patrons of a wide age range enjoying drink, food and laughter with a steady trickle of patrons arriving as others leave, thus creating a buzzy atmosphere that isn’t too loud or over the top - still conducive to a relaxing meal or drink.
Hubbub has both a daytime and evening menu, which change every month or two to reflect the seasons. The day menu has a great brunch section including a full English breakfast and eggs benedict at around £6 a dish. The dinner menu offers well-priced appetisers such as homemade hummus and sharing platters, which are really reasonable at around £6.50 a plate. The fishcakes are really worth a mention - tasty with real chunks of fish and potato accompanied by a very good homemade tartar sauce, which is creamy with bits of tangy gherkin.
The mains really are the main event, however. There is a seasonal menu so expect it to change every few months. However, all the food is a delight, the duck leg served with mash and a merlot and cranberry gravy being a particular treat. Duck is hard to get just right – often gamey or chewy, but they cook it to perfection. Strong in flavour, without being overbearing, it is moist and comes easily off the bone. The mash is creamy, rich and comforting, especially when covered in the thick, flavourful gravy. You’ll find yourself tempted to lick the plate clean. And, best of all, it’s a real steal at just £9.20.
They have a changing daily selection of desserts. Excellent choices include offerings such as lemon tart, plum tart, spiced apple cake and toffee cheesecake (unbelievably coming in at under £3 a dish). The apple cake is a wonderful contrast of flavours with the sweet spice of the cake contrasting really well with the tartness of the cranberries and unsweetened cream poured over it. It tastes fresh out of the oven and smells of cinnamon and allspice. A wonderful pudding.
The wine menu at Hubbub has been chosen with real care and attention to both quality of wine and pricing. An Australian shiraz-cabernet (Copeland Estate, 2005) with its flavours of pepper and berries is a satisfying drink on its own or with food and at £12 a bottle you can easily afford a second. Likewise, the rioja tinto from Bodegas Navajas – softer and warmer on the palate with hints of vanilla – comes in at around £14 a bottle. White wines and rose are chosen with equal care and they even have Moet and Chandon champagne at about £30 a bottle if you’re celebrating. Fosters and Kronenburg are available on tap and cocktails and shooters are available for those in more of a drinking mood.
The Last Word
Hubbub on the Isle of Dogs really is the dog’s bullocks! Great food and excellent wines at very friendly prices ensure a pleasant evening is to be had by all.