Monday, 18 April 2011


I went to Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green for lunch at the weekend. An odd place that uses the arty Vyner Street location and the extreme cabaret it puts on to increase its trendyness. For that reason and its silly name I've alway been put off going there in the past even though it's only a short walk from my house.

Walking in to the place it's actually alright. A very functional space which has the same simple white walls and grey floors as the neighboring galleries and studios. They have a pianist on a baby grand in the centre of the restaurant and this afternoon he was playing musak versions of all of the songs on the Trainspotting soundtrack. As cool as arty places may think they are they always have a dodgy deluded taste in music.

Mathilde and I went for the £22 three course lunch menu which they have at the weekend. To start I went for the cured meat and beetroot coleslaw.

The meat was decent enough and just the right thickness.

Mathilde went for the Stichelton and chicory salad. She says the ingredients were nice enough but was bemused at the lack of a dressing.

For my main I went for the roast pork belly on caramelised chicory with jerusalem artichoke puree. It was pretty and the pork belly was excellently done. The caramelised chicory was especially nice.

Mathilde had fish and chips which was good enough but did seem to be an odd thing to find in a place like Bistrotehque which is aspiring towards fine dining. A pile of battered fish and fried chips didn't really look right opposite my intricately presented pork with well aimed jus puddles.

For dessert I had a lemon raspberry posset which was the highlight for me. Both creamy and fresh at the same time. One of the best desserts I've ever had. The freshly cooked shortbread biscuit was lovely

Mathilde had the crème brûlée which was very good she reports.

The food is good in Bistrotheque but it does feel a bit odd. The savoury meals on the menu are your typical ideas of posh food without any originality. The list of desserts however looks much more intriguing. The rhubarb and thyme crumble sounds like something to try if I ever go again.

As restaurants feeding on their art credentials via location go I'd say that Rochelle Canteen in the Arnold Circus Rochelle School studios which I ate at earlier this year does a much better job. The food there is far more honest while being interesting and original. Although you would expect it as it's part of the St John group. The atmosphere is also much freindlier and far less poncey.

1 comment:

  1. When I went there the crab cakes with a crabby hollandaise sauce were amazing.