Restaurants , French Bethnal Green
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(17 user reviews)
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© Paul Winch-Furness
© Ed Reeve
© Paul Winch-Furness
© Paul Winch-Furness
© Ed Reeve
© Paul Winch-Furness

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
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Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:2
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Diana T

GO HERE FOR BRUNCH! (did I say it loud enough?) The brunch menu is amazing. I am always genuinely impressed with my food, and I've dragged along several friends to try it out and never has anything gone badly. 

Sometimes they're a little slow at bringing you your first coffee but then again they try to serve everyone at the table at once, so I don't really blame them. The staff is friendly but not overbearing. The tables are laid out in a way where some how you magically don't hear the next table's conversation. And during the weekend they have someone playing the grand piano hanging out in the room. If Bistrotheque weren't a restaurant I'd want it to be my apartment, because the space is beautiful. They have large windows, everything is white, and even the hand soap in the bathroom is amazing. 

If I had to eat here every weekend I would die happy. 

Sarah J Peach

I love the bar food here at Bistroteque - and the cocktails;  i got quite drunk on two cucumber flips one time.  Another, I devoured the brown crab and the bone marrow in lip smacking quickness.  My dining partner had the burger which he said was fantastic, and the range of craft and usual beers satisfy the hipster and the traditionalist between us.  It's a great location set way away from the mental crowds and in a minimalist restaurant.  Great find - don't be put off by its past uber cool rep - it's just a nice place to hang out with good food.

Chandra Sriram


I have been going here for many years and found the service truly attentive, and the food consistently good and sometimes great. While the neighborhood and clientele have become more hipsterlike and irritating, and the place has undergone renovations of which I am not a fan(I miss the Napoleon Bar and the Cabaret Room), the fundamental spirit and experience keep me coming back. Cha

Claire F

This is a nice place to eat in Victoria Park/Hackney, an area that is still up and coming on the foodie scene in London. I went for brunch and had the Pancakes, poached rhubarb, smoked almonds and cream. The pancakes were very nice, but the menu overall was a bit dull, and I would have liked to see something more exciting than Eggs Benedict/Florentine/Royal and a full English breakfast available. I would go back for dinner, but I would say it's unlikely that this restaurant will top some nearby gems like The Corner Room and Sager + Wilde. 

Lisa S

I ate here on Valentine's Day, and was pleasantly surprised that it didn't feel like Valentines. No bumping elbows with the table next to you or cheesey flowers and music. There's a real buzz and cool clientele, with classic food with a twist. Would recommend it for anyone who lives East.

Nadia G

Cool place, nice open space; laid back, yet elegant atmosphere. Food was good too, though for a bowl of literally just lettuce leaves the 'sides salad' was overpriced to say the least. Mains where very good though. Too bad about the service which just seemed confused and a bit unprofessional. 

Rosie T
Staff Writer

Such a great atmosphere (when you eventually find it lol), friendly staff and brilliantly tasty food. A place I have been to a few times and every time leave with a smile after such a great meal. They have a pianist at certain times in the day, who plays beautifully. A place I highly recommend.

Neil K

My experiences here have always been good. In the evenings there is a great buzz and the food is consistently great. While it can get very busy and service can take longer than you'd hope on occasions, and portions don't tend to be over generous and the experience will be less kind to your wallet than some other places, this shouldn't matter too much as it is worth it . The quality and atmosphere more than make up for the price, and I'm never in any hurry to leave. Additionally if you are the sort who fancies a bargain, for parties up to 6 people if you place your order by 7pm you can get a starter main and dessert for £20 for which you can't really go wrong.

Hayden B

Service was attentive and the design impressive, but there were many aspects that put us off our overall dining experience. Firstly we were attracted to this restaurant by the £20 three course 'Prix Fixe' menu that was talked up on other review sites. When we arrived we noticed the small print which said the Prix Fixe menu must be ordered BY 19:00. We arrived at 19:05 and promptly asked if we could order this but were told we were too late. When pushed they said 'it's all entered electronically so the billing system won't allow it'. I'd expect to being told 'Computer says No' by large companies with complex billing systems but not a small bespoke restaurants in Hackney - a very lame excuse which rendered this otherwise great draw card as a gimmick, given the restaurant was almost empty when we arrived. Given most of the mains hover around the £20 mark, this meant when ordering three courses our bill was more than double what we had hoped for. If the food had all been amazing we of course wouldn't have minded as it's not outrageously priced, but everything I ordered from starters to pudding was remarkably bland. The hake, cauliflower and heritage tomatoes was impressively arranged but tasted more like a garnish than a feature. The lobster was fresh but flavourless and very much needed the ton of garlic butter it came drizzled in (as did the chips). Succulent peaches and vanilla ice cream arrived to wide eyed anticipation but sadly both were also somehow devoid of flavour. The one redeeming feature was the cocktails, inventively crafted and very tasty. So ultimately a nice place for a drink, but I wouldn't eat here again.


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.