Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Tue Oct 16 2012
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.
However, the real draw is the entertainment: Bistrotheque's little black-box stage is the beating heart of east London's alt performance scene. It's Jonny Woo's regular spot for seasoned routines and new experiments; it's where musical terrorists Bourgeois & Maurice made their name; it's where alt-dragsters the Lipsinkers cut loose; and it's the cradle of the hugely influential work-in-progress night UnderConstruction.
Bistrotheque 23-27 Wadeson Street
- Venue phone:
020 8983 7900
- Venue website:
- 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
Tube: Bethnal Green tube/rail or Cambridge Heath rail, or bus 55
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
- 23-27 Wadeson Street
- 020 8983 7900
- 23-27 Wadeson Street