On a gorgeous sunny lunch time, I made my way south on the overground to Canada Water. A cute little area next Surrey Quays with no end of quays and wharfs. This little part of the south is rapidly becoming a go-to spot in south London. Blocks of flats are sprouting out of the ground in what is a commutable region to Canary Wharf and the city. Still a bit trim on the foodie front, our option was to head to Leadbelly’s for brunch/lunch.
Leadbelly’s bar and kitchen is a gastro pub with high ceilings, interesting decor, outside seating and a relaxed team. Relaxed was unfortunately not a positive for the style of the service. It took some getting used to catching the attention of the waiting team. The service was not at all intuitive and was very much led by the guests from what I could see. Simple prompts like bringing gravy with a roast was non existent, you had to ask for it. Top ups of drinks was unheard of, sales opportunities missed there and generally keeping an eye on very low maintenance customers was an effort.
The redeeming factor for those who can ignore the above is the food. I had the roast chicken and I do have to say, it was one of the best I have tasted. It was so soft and juicy. Roasts are a hard one, you have to pre-prepare a lot and unfortunately as the food stays there waiting to be ordered, chicken meat can sometimes get tough and dry. Not in this case, they were spot on with the taste and texture. The potatoes and veg also complimented my roast perfectly too. Miss Polly went for a more brunch style offering with pancakes and bacon, smothered with salted butter and maple syrup.
Whilst the service needs a lot of work, the food is exactly where it needs to be. As more restaurants pop up in the area, as they no doubt will, Leadbelly’s will have to step up its game as folk will expect the best of both worlds, good offering and good service.
London SE16 7AQ