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Wapping Project
Wapping Wall
Tower Hamlets, E1W 3SG
+44 (0) 207 680 2080

Closest station: Wapping Rail station

Opening times:
Lunch served Mon- Fri: 12pm-3.30pm; Sat-Sun: 1-4pm
Brunch served Sat-Sun: 10.30am-12pm
Dinner served Mon-Fri: 6.30-10.30pm; Sat: 7-10.30pm

Prices: Main courses £15-£22, exhibitions free

Powered up restaurant in Wapping

Upon entry, our senses are overextended. Fourteen steal tables with place covers line up in front of us, heavy green-shaded machinery stand out under the high-wooden ceiling and a disco ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"This is not a house". The title of the current free exhibition at this former hydraulic power station east of Tower Bridge holds true for the whole complex.

At the Wapping Project, history meets the modern; idleness meets creativity.

A culinary gesamtkunstwerk

The Wapping Project is a story of how you inherit a feature and make a spectacle out of it.

"The building is just special and it's great for me to work in as it combines my passion and my work," says Dan Richards, the Wapping Restaurant head chef.

As a former arts student, he gave up painting and mixes now the locally fresh sourced ingredients in the small kitchen to a culinary gesamtkunstwerk.

Palates meeting palettes

Richards designs the Wapping Restaurant's menu which changes after every 20 portions, hence basically on a daily basis. "This ensures a great variety for regular customers, keeps the storage space to a minimum and guarantees the freshness of all dishes," he explains.

Additionally, it fosters his creative talent and that of his three-man strong crew. Looking at the high ceiling, the wide-open space, we would have thought to find a much bigger team.

The 33-year old, who gained experience at Michelin star awarded restaurants enjoys the intimacy of this big creative space.

"The decision process is much quicker and I'm not a bad-ass chef, I'll try to keep everyone happy as this will be reflected in the dining experience of our customers."

Food meets art

At the end of our interview, we leave the well-heated, quirky restaurant to discover the gallery in the back. On opening the heavy grey door, a chilly breeze meets us and we find ourselves in a dark cavernous room, the only light being the spots directed at the levitating photos.

Reviews described the images of the mortgage crisis at the end of 2008 by photographer Edgar Martin as a "fragile and difficult relationship with the real". Standing in the cold, brick room with drops of water as background noise, "This is not a House" seems very graphic, yet surreal.

The exhibition is like the rest of the project: you either hate it or love it. But regardless of how you feel, the Wapping Project is definitely more than a house; it is a venue for food and art enthusiasts alike in a spectacular building.

Christine Liehr and Preethi Ramamoorthy