London Docklands and The City: Eating and drinking after dark

From Japanese haute cuisine to a traditional curry house, Ben Lerwill sheds light on the best dining options.

LOUNGELOVER - www.loungelover.co.uk

Whitby Street's Loungelover opened in May 2004 and already lays serious claim to being one of the most fashionable joints in town. Its decor - a striking collection of junk shop knick-knacks and period antiques - is one of the main draws, while exclusive cocktails have been pulling the in-crowd. The bar is available for exclusive hire and can hold 150.

PLATEAU RESTAURANT - www.conran-restaurants.co.uk/restaurants/plateau

Opened in 2003, this Conran eatery serves modern French food opposite the iconic No.1 Canada Square tower. Expect great service, designer surroundings, a talented sommelier and a healthy bill. Its private dining room seats up to 24 and can either be shut off or incorporated into the restaurant proper, which is dominated by a long glass window. Two hugely popular outdoor terraces can also be hired, as can the colourful cigar lounge. Diners can gaze in at the semi-open kitchen to watch the cooks rustle up dishes that include grilled lobster and Billingsgate fish pie.

BRICK LANE - www.bricklanerestaurants.com

A Brick Lane curry is as integral a part of the London experience as you'll find and, with a little planning, can make for a memorable evening. As it is just a ten-minute drive from Canary Wharf, it is a solid option for a budget-friendly dine-around. Nazrul II and the New Tayyab have good reputations.

IVORY HOUSE - www.medievalbanquet.com

Set in vaulted cellars close to Tower Bridge, Ivory House has a 500 year-old USP. Duelling knights, strolling players and singing wenches all play a part in the nightly medieval banquet, not to mention an appearance by Henry VIII himself. In a concession to the present day, vegetarian options are available.

LIGHTSHIP - www.lightshipten.com

The Docklands experience wouldn't be complete without getting waterborne, and Lightship provides the ideal opportunity. Now a chic Scandinavian-influenced restaurant, all three decks are available for hire for a maximum of 100 people.

UBON BY NOBU - www.geoffstearns.com/ubon/

The equally voguish sister of Park Lane's Nobu, Ubon is a restaurant with a reputation. Its renowned 'new style' Japanese cuisine, incorporating squid pasta, black cod and the famed sashimi salad, makes it one of those rare places where the eating experience actually lives up to the hype. Celebrity endorsements are rife and advance booking is not so much practical as essential.

CURVE BAR AND RESTAURANT - www.marriott.co.uk/loncw

Part of the new five-star Marriott West India Quay property, Curve Bar and Restaurant prides itself on the freshness of its ingredients and the American influence on its menu. Continuing the transatlantic trend, the Manhattan Bar is an ideal nightcap venue.

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