Restaurant Review: Bistrotheque, Bethnal Green in London
Hidden down a back street in Bethnal Green, this unexpected and well established all day modern brasserie is still a hot spot for London’s Hipsters. I was purposely early for a Sunday Brunch reservation, so I could take in the atmosphere of this minimalist warehouse loft while I waited for my dining companion and one of London’s finest concierge, Ro Kapila of the trendy EDITION hotel.
As I took up my comfortable stool at the bar, I was greeted by the Australian barman who served me up a Pisco Sour – possibly a little unadventurous when there are cocktails on the menu such as the ‘Mezquito’ which consists of Mezcal, tequila, Tempranillo reduction and raspberries.
Everything in is within view in the large open oblong white stone room. The 360° rectangular bar is the perfect place to eat, drink and watch the action. To the left is the busy host station and beyond is the open kitchen, where a group of busy but calm craftsmen put together plates of poached eggs with smashed avocados on toast and multiple stands packed with crushed ice and chilled oysters.
This is clearly home to some fascinating characters including plenty of trendy Londoners. A sea of bloody marys covered the tables, like an epidemic of crimson hangover cures and, in one corner, an eccentric pianist beautifully framed by a large vase of flowers sitting on his wooden piano top. He brought the white room (which was slightly too minimalist for my taste) completely alive. His purple hair bouncing as he jammed his fingers into the piano keys, he reminded me of Antony Hegarty from the band Antony and the Johnsons, minus the hair colour. I could have watched him for hours playing his range of cover songs.
Ro joined me at the bar and we decided to release our table to the next lucky walk in patron so we could people-watch, sipping on our rusty tangerine coloured Negronis and downing (elegantly of course) fresh oysters. We shared a side dish of devilishly indulgent oily chorizo, followed by a crab rarebit which matched any I have tasted.
Ro looked most content as he polished off his steak tartare and, wiping his plate clean, ordered another Negroni for desert. In response to our question “where would you go at this time to finish off a perfect Sunday?” our well informed barman suggested The Haggerston to take in some late afternoon jazz, rounding off another great day.
Laid-back, but knowledgeable and friendly staff make this edgy little hot spot in East London a real gem, still!
With cocktails starting at around £8; starters from £6; mains from £9 and desert from £6 you can enjoy a 3 course Sunday brunch experience from £21 and wine starts from £21 a bottle.
Address: 23-27 Wadeson St, London E2 9DR / 020 8983 7900
With over 13 years experience in the Luxury Lifestyle and Concierge industry, Ben Lake, CTA is one of the most well connected individuals in London. For more information visit www.benlake.london