The Dock Kitchen is housed in the converted Wharf Building at Portobello Dock, as part of an urban regeneration project by Derwent London [also responsible for the Tea Building in Shoreditch]. The space overlooking the Grand Union Canal is also HQ for the furniture maestro Tom Dixon, who sub let the space for Dock Kitchen to be headed up by Stevie Parle, a protege of Petersham Nurseries and the River Cafe, to run as a restaurant. Initially set up as only a pop-up restaurant five years ago, the Dock Kitchen fortunately never popped back down and since then it has delivered a delicious sense of style and cool to the dusty northern-most border of Portobello.
The design, by DRS, is intended to be rough where original brick arches and beamed ceilings have been preserved to lead Dock Kitchen customers through six different environments: reception, deli, canteen, kitchen, salon and private dining room. Each area has its own identity led by the function of the area.
The Dock Kitchen reception is clean and clear, signage being key to the identity of the space. In the restaurant the spaces become warmer and more rough, with soaped wood, exposed brick and warm brass coloured lighting. The open kitchen provides visibility through the restaurant and a sense of theatre for the customers. Key to the open kitchen is the Beam kitchen by Ekoij and Tom Dixon. Beyond the kitchen lies the salon and private dining room, where the experience is calmer and more secluded.
The entire restaurant is littered with Tom Dixon range products and full collections of furniture and lighting, to create an honest, open space in keeping with Stevie’s food. One-off pieces have also been created including a reception desk, a waiter station and a screen.
On the matter of the food itself, Stevie runs an experimental kitchen, always adapting the menu and trying new things out, depending on what is in season or what far-flung place he or another of the chefs have visited, or what new ingredient they have come across abroad or at home.
The Tom Dixon shop resides directly beneath the restaurant housing pieces from over a dozen international designers.
View Dock Kitchen on the Domus Nova Food & Drink Guide
Dock Kitchen, Portobello Dock at 342–344 Ladbroke Grove, Kensal Road, London W10; dockkitchen.co.uk