A spacious venue overlooking Canada Square, The Pearson Room is inspired by the classic cool of the 1950s and '60s, but with a nod to the young, upscale energy of Canary Wharf. In homage to its Canada Square address, the venue owes its name to the eminent statesman Lester B. Pearson, Nobel Prize winner and Prime Minister of Canada in the 1960s. Boasting an eclectic menu and extensive cocktail list designed to impress classic as well as creative tastes, The Pearson Room will wine and dine you in style.
Although affiliated with the Reebok Sports Club, The Pearson Room has a distinct entrance and there is no hint that sweat or trainers are anywhere in the vicinity. No vending machines of Lucozade here; this is truly a Canary Wharf marriage of venues. Complete with an impressive bar, a lounge reminiscent of Don Draper's living room as well as a spacious dining area, The Pearson Room is certainly not lacking for space or style. Inspired by '1950s Hitchcock approach to design', the venue is replete with heritage leather seating and a large zinc bar.
On a Thursday night in late spring, the restaurant is buzzing, though not packed with patrons. It's a Canary Wharf crowd and the age range is mixed, yet everyone appears to be stylish, lively and relatively well-to-do. Although still in its early stages, the Pearson Room is clearly in the hands of experts (read on line bios if you need
reassurance). Staff are professional and knowledgeable, and the menu has been pored over since opening to ensure customer satisfaction.
Food runners make the occasional snafu in delivering drinks, but nothing that isn't easily fixed. The atmosphere remains lively into the evening, with the sunset over Canada Square a pretty pleasant backdrop to drinks and dinner.
With an upscale but relaxed atmosphere, the Pearson Room offers a something-for-everyone menu that would do for a business lunch, a date or even a bite whilst lounging in designer gym wear.
To start, try the calamari fritti with lemon and lime aioli (£8.50). Unlike the greasy, rubbery variety often served in restaurants, here the octopus is perfectly cooked and crusted in delicious Japanese breadcrumbs, and complemented impeccably by a fresh citrus dip. The diver scallops with nduja, Jerusalem artichoke purée and gremolata (£9) is another excellent choice; pan seared and juicy, the scallops are a buttery delight. For a fresh, summery starter (or main course) try the beetroot salad with radish, buffalo ricotta, toasted walnuts and mustard vinaigrette (£7.50/£12). This bright, earthy salad is beautifully presented; the technicolour of the beet varieties along with the delicate and fresh ricotta makes this a truly standout dish.
Main course choices are also plentiful. The Pearson cheese burger (£15) comprises chopped T-bone steak meat with American slice, tobacco onions, smoked bacon, gherkins and rosemary fries. The meat is seasoned nicely but it is a little dry, even when ordered medium rare. According to waitstaff, there is a good chance that the catch of the day will be cod (served with potatoes) as it is already proving such a hit with regulars. Good for simpler palates, this dish is mildly seasoned but the fish is fresh, flaky and moist.
Dessert will impress, not least the lemongrass pana cotta with pineapple and pistachio ice cream. Sweet, tangy and with a beautifully creamy texture, this dish is summer in a bowl. The Eton Mess is a classic served with a twist. Served on a slab of slate, the meringue, vanilla Chantilly cream, berries and passion fruit is a delectable mess of flavor and texture.
Open the tome-like drinks menu to find an extensive list of pretty much everything alcoholic. Cocktails impress, with the Rhubarb and Vanilla Sparkle a fresh and bubbly concoction perfect for the warmer months. For those unafraid of a little spice, the Chilli and Passion Martini is hot and sweet and gets even better as the chili diffuses. Wines to complement dinner are numerous so ask waitstaff to guide you; try the Quercus Pino Bianco (Slovenia 2011) for a very light-bodied white with apple notes. An excellent red is the Terra Andina Pino Noir Reserva (Chile 2010); full bodied yet gentle with berry and vanilla flavors.
The Last Word
The Pearson Room might not necessarily be what springs to mind when one thinks of a post-work or workout bite to eat. However, it really is a venue where food is of a consistent quality, the drinks are imaginative and the staff are attentive without any uncomfortable stuffiness. The 1950s inspired style is classic yet relaxed, giving the Pearson Room a cool elegance that should only get better with age.