Tower Hamlets

The hipster count is high, but the welcome and service are friendly, and there’s a level of professionalism here that’s missing from many East End restaurants.

Head to the first floor of this East End trendsetter for the light, white restaurant and big oval bar (the Manchichi, where walk-ins can eat and good cocktails are mixed). Although the hipster count is high, the welcome and service are friendly, and there’s a level of professionalism here that’s missing from many local restaurants.

The kitchen is capable of highs – duck confit with puy lentils and mushrooms was a stellar version – but a steady B-plus is more usual. Pricing is variable too – the generous prix fixe costs £17.50 for three good-sized courses, while a tiny portion of cured salmon salad with beetroot and horseradish remoulade was £14 (we can’t imagine what the £8 size looks like).

The menu (and short wine list) is more French-leaning than truly Gallic: a cheeseburger with pancetta and caramelised onions sits alongside onglet with chips and béarnaise sauce, and treacle tart with clotted cream next to crème brûlée.

A popular weekend brunch adds the likes of (US-style) pancakes with bacon and maple syrup to the mix. Less welcome at brunch are the 90-minute dining slots, and the tables set uncomfortably close to the piano. Overall, it's a reliable but fun restaurant that hasn’t become complacent.


Venue name: Bistrotheque
Address: 23-27 Wadeson Street
E2 9DR
Opening hours: Bar Open 5.30pm-midnight Mon-Fri; 11am-midnight Sat; 11am-11pm Sun. Restaurant Brunch served 11am-3.45pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6.30-10.15pm Mon-Thur, Sun; 6.30-10.45pm Fri, Sat
Transport: Tube: Bethnal Green tube/rail or Cambridge Heath rail, or bus 55
Price: Main courses £13.50-£17.50 Set dinner (6.30-7.15pm, 9.45-10.15pm Mon-Thur, Sun; 6.30-7.15pm, 9.45-10.45pm Fri, Sat) £17.50 3 courses

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
6 people listening

after working here for quite a while and not getting paid at all what i was promised by the head chef and having to have multiple meetings with him to sort it out and then going to pick up my P60 and having to pay £1.50 for it i say make up your own mind about the food. intentions travel into food too. greed


I wanted to give Bistrotheque zero out of five but one is the minimum rating. We went there for brunch on a Saturday morning. This establishment sums up everything that I dislike about the so-called "trendy" London food scene: pretentious, terrible service and very average food - not to mention overpriced. I think we waited about 30 minutes for a coffee (even though we checked with our waitress more than once for the coffee's whereabouts). There were perhaps three other tables there so they were not busy. When our food came, the portion size was so small as to be ridiculous. When our bill arrived, they had, of course, added the usual "discretionary" service charge of 12.5% - despite the long wait. There are so many better places to have brunch/breakfast in London - don't waste your time with this place.


First time went this saturday, but its going to be last. Not impressed!! Saying that The front of the house Staff was very good and attentive! Have to give them 5 stars! And most important Food was ok-ish, nothing special, and on top my ray wing was overcooked! My boyfriend had steak tartare with chips and salad (chips was soggy, the ones you get from freezer, strange that it wasn't hand cut). I really wanted to like the restaurant because its local ,but sorry people I go to Palmers on Roman road and never dissapoints!!! The food is fantastic!!!! Great reviews with 4stars is propably for atmosphere. Food is 2 stars!


Very attentive and friendly service, not at all "perfunctory and disengaged" as the review claims. Poached egg on asparagus with hollandaise was simple, but each component was executed with care, resulting in a lovely starter on a sweltering evening. Cod with cockles and beurre blanc was a bit over-salted, but the cod was buttery and perfectly cooked. Again; a few simple ingredients prepared with care, and simply presented. The deserts with the highlight, though. A soft, creamy vanilla cheesecake was served completely unadorned, matching the whiteness of the walls, the ceiling and almost everything else. Not too sweet, not too cheesy; it was the platonic ideal of cheesecake. A salted butter caramel tart was among the most decadent deserts I have ever had. Not cloying, just salty enough, a gooey as all good caramel should be, with a lovely sweet crust that balanced out the smooth filling. It was so good that I asked the (very friendly, albeit very trendy) maitre d' for the recipe, and he kindly obliged.


Ignore the reviews from those who seem to be intimidated by "trendy" staff and desperate to portray east London as more interested in vapid style than honest substance - the waiters and waitresses have never been anything other than friendly and helpful on the numerous occasions that I've visited. The food's good too, and there's always a good atmosphere. This place has been busy and successful for several years, and you don't get that by offering bad service or poor food.


Have been here twice, the first was brunch. We paid £5 for a small sized Eggs Benedict and boy was it small! One half-muffin with the usual, and no salad. It was however quite delicious. Service on this occasion was frosty. The 2nd was for a dinner with friends and service was lovely. Ordered the pork belly but this was chewy and not at all tender. I really wanted to like this place based on reviews however I think it's more hype than substance. The food is ok but not for the prices they are charging. The interiors are great though, quite minimal and I like that it's tucked away from the hustle and bustle.


Amazing place. you constantly ask yourself 'why do i like this place?' all the ingredients seem that it's a recipe for disaster but it's great.