I’ve written about the wonderous food on offer in Wapping Wharf before, but I figured brunch options are a separate thing, right?
Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf is one of the most popular watering holes in the harbour, and has toyed with brunch in the past, but this time it’s knuckled down to doing it properly. We were asked along to road-test the new options, and I shimmied down to the harbour as fast as my little legs could carry me.
First up -if you’ve not been inside Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf before, it’s a bit of a quirky one. Cosy booths to one side, long wooden sharing tables to the other, plus some stools up in the window for people-spotting – this bar has all seating preferences covered.
Of course there is the obligatory intimidatingly long list of beers on offer, with an extensive line of taps underneath to stress the point. Wild Beer have a great selection of their own beers here as you’d expect, but other top breweries are also well represented, as are gins, wines and soft drinks.
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the mural on their back wall? A sloth, riding a fish, being pursued by a pirate cockerel? Big fan.
Anyway, brunch was what I was here for, right? Only the beer intro wasn’t too much of a tangent, because this is a brunch menu with beer pairings. Yes, BEER PAIRINGS. We’ve finally reached the 21st Century, folks – I can sit and enjoy a 6% ale with my eggs and chalk it up to gastronomic sophistication. Wonderful stuff.
Chef Matt Young has kept it nice and simple with this menu – a few popular staples from modern brunch menus such as avocado on toast and shakshuka, plus a few wildcards, including the Wafflafel (which just made me think of this).
As you can see from the pic below, it’s a thoughtful mix which also includes a nice amount of choice for vegans and GF folk. Plus – beer.
We were even welcomed in with a Beermosa – a beery take on the traditional Mimosa, and I actually thing I prefer it to the original! Ninkasi is Wild Beer’s apple-based celebration beer – light, fruity and very fizzy – so a top notch alternative to Prosecco or Cava.
Food feedback first – the shakshuka arrived in a nice deep bowl, smelling gorgeous and making my mouth water from the offset. 2 eggs were nicely poached in the gently-spiced and warming sauce, with a wedge of sourdough to mop it up.
The rarebit, made with Westcombe Cheddar (the cheesemakers are located on the same premises as the brewery) didn’t look like much portion-wise when it first arrived, but the cheese mixture was rich and flavoursome ( you could really taste the mustard and beer), so the amount actually turned out to be spot on, I couldn’t have eaten anymore, and I’m a greedy so-and-so.
Both dishes were expertly paired – I was particularly taken with The Blend autumn edition, which tasted of fig chutney and worked so well with the flavours in my rarebit. It’ll be interesting to see what it’s paired with once this beer runs out.
We also got given one of the oat milk pancakes (vegan and GF!) to try with strawberries and maple syrup. The texture was surprisingly light but with nice crunchy edges, and you could taste the banana used in the mixture.
I’m not one for sweet breakfasts, but I’d debate sharing a stack of these as a brunch pudding (I don’t see why you can’t have 2 courses for brunch seeing as beer is now quite literally on the table).
I have to say that I was surprised just how much I enjoyed the brunch at Wild Beer – the menu here has needed a bit of a revamp recently and given what he’s achieved with the brunch menu alone, I’m excited to see what chef has planned for the coming months.
Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf
6-8 Gaol Ferry Steps
Disclaimer: This was a complimentary brunch, however we were not asked to send any copy in advance or change any of the above, so everything here is our lip-smacking opinion only.