What can you tell us about Vinothec Compass?
It's all part of a huge new development in North Greenwich, the Greenwich Peninsula Driving Range. This is a huge, double decker 60 bay driving range within sight of Canary Wharf. It's quite an astonishing sight to see this right in the middle of London - as such things are normally seen on the ourskirts or as virtual driving ranges. This is the real thing and is ideal for anyone in Canary Wharf - or indeed the City - who fancies winding down from the office with a few swings. And at £6 for 60 balls, it's not bad value at all for the centre of town.
But it's not all about the golf, right?
Indeed not. And as this writer knows from much experience, golf and good food are not normally asscociated with each other. But things are different at this golf range. Being so close to a large amount of City workers with a bit of money to spend, they've partnered with Arnaud Compas and Keith Lyon to create Vinothec Compass, which is aiming for a casual fine-dining restaurant.
So what does casual fine dining mean?
Essentially a much more laid back atmosphere, as befits a restaurant attached to a golfing range, but with a great deal of care and attention to the food, which reaches up towards a French style of fine dining (while still retaining the odd burger (albeit a "Chorizo Piquillo Pepper Burger") and steaks too.
We decided to take a bit of a our through the menu, trying out small plate versions of various dishes on the menu. You can see all that in the menu below, but the highlights for us were:
- Baby Squid Andalucian Style - a lovely light dish, perfect for what was a beautiful summer's day
- Pig Trotters Sweet Potato Puree - Definitely not something we've ever seen on a menu after a round of golf, this was up there with trotters we've had at many a top London restaurant
- Suckling Pig Confit Piquillo Pepper - more pig, this time, very, very slow roasted.
All things considered, we were particularly impressed by the food. But the wine was equally impressive...
So there's a big focus on wine then?
There is indeed, with a wall of wine featuring some very impressive vintages. Now we have to admit that high-end wine knowledge isn't really in Hot Dinners' wheelhouse, but if you had a bit of money to spend - or some clients to impress - there's plenty to choose from this wall between the £50 and £200 marks and above. It's all handily priced up too - so you can browse the wall as you would a wine list (we do like this touch).
It's a bit pricey on the wine side then?
No - it certainly can be if you want to stretch that far, but there's plenty available at the lower end of the list - and with something that veers away from the standard choices too - which is a pleasant change. We were very happy with both the Istrian Vina Laguna Malvasia at £24 (we've always loved Croatian Malvasia since visiting there) and the Croatian Terra Rossa (£23) was also lovely and both of those are on the lower side of the menu as was an excellent Moroccan Rose (£25). That said - our Three Foxed 2013 Clairette Blanche from the wine wall was excellent.
Even if your tastes don't stretch to fine wine, there are almost 20 beers on the menu too.
Ordinarily, this would be a huge draw for any city-dwelling or working golfer, but the addition of a menu worth staying for and an extremely good wine list make this a great new addition to an area which already boasts Craft. Definitely worth heading down there to hit a few balls, swig a few wines and enjoy a very good dinner.
Hot Dinners were invited to Vinothec Compass. Prices were correct at the time of writing.