Excellent restaurant. Very helpful and friendly staff, interesting and unconventional dishes. To all the people bitching about waiting for the table - book your tables upfront, it's not that hard.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Mon Sep 8 2014
Following Nuno Mendes' departure from the Town Hall Hotel in February 2014, Corner Room appointed John Christie as head chef in September 2014. Christie has previously worked at restaurants such as Hibiscus and El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.The Food and Drink Editors
In its role as the less formal of the two restaurants in the restrained, stylish Town Hall Hotel (the other is Viajante), the Corner Room strikes a happy medium between impressive and approachable. That’s the only way in which it’s medium, though. The food, overseen by the perfectionist, thoughtfully experimental Nuno Mendes, is consistently excellent, and the short, alluring wine list and young, engaged staff in their black uniforms are also some way above average. The short menu (about five dishes per course) is a terse list of ingredients that barely hints at the complexities on the plate, which invariably holds more flavours than billed and a primer’s worth of technique. It’s all in the service of flavour rather than cheffy showing-off, and presented attractively rather than as art. ‘Sprouting broccoli and garlic tea, stracciatella’, for example, was served with beer-pickled onions, the near-sour dressing a teasing foil for the stracciatella (creamy mozzarella). The bread pudding in ‘Ibérico pork, bread pudding, wild garlic’ was a rich, musky mush, the garlic leaves brittle and aged in flavour. Influences from Mendes’ native Portugal are evident, as is seasonality, though sometimes just in adaptations to Corner Room classics. The room is small yet not overcrowded and – being a former town hall – the ceilings are high. The original decor has largely gone, but the oak tables, panelling and wall units recall a certain office-like feel, though the forest of hanging lights and shades is more playful. Good food at any price, awesome at these.
Corner Room Town Hall Hotel
- Cross Street:
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Breakfast served 7-10am Mon-Fri; 7.30-10.30am Sat, Sun. Lunch served noon-4pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm daily
Tube: Bethnal Green tube
Main courses £14-£15. Set lunch (noon-3pm Mon-Fri) £19 2 courses, £23 3 courses
- Town Hall Hotel
- Town Hall Hotel
- Corner Room
Average User Rating
3.5 / 5
- 5 star:14
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:8
After much hype, I found Corner Room rather disappointing. The rather austere, brightly lit dining room desperately needs to be full and buzzing to provide atmosphere, yet sadly only 3 table were occupied, giving the feeling of a schoolhouse dining hall. The service was extremely friendly, albeit not overly attentive, and our waitress delightful - however by own admission she knew nothing of the wines on the very short list (just 5 red/5 white) - all of which were rather leftfield choices and, having tried 3 of them, we were hugely unimpressed with the choices. The food I would describe as "good", but little more; whilst beautifully presented, the "smoked yolk" in the steak tartare totally overpowered all other flavours and although the duck was cooked superbly well, the accompanying risotto was slightly underdone and a trifle bland. In short, I wouldn't rush back: over £200 for 4 people (2 courses each; 3 bottles of wine) is by no means ridiculous but aside from the food's presentation, for less than this you can eat similarly well but in a better atmosphere and with a substantially preferable selection of wines in many decent gastropubs.
Much enjoyed dinner last night. Was a quiet Monday but the service was attentive enough without protruding and the food was spot on.
We had dinner there last night and it was a very pleasant experience. It makes me wonder why it took me so long to try it after an equally positive experience at Viajante on the ground floor. I agree with another reviewer, the food is the quality of a fine dining experience but very reasonably priced, mains are around £13. Each plate was bursting with really interesting flavour combinations and fresh. I thought the portion size was perfect for 3 courses. The Maitre D was very friendly and warm. My favourite new local restaurant!
My wife and me turned up without a reservation this afternoon and were given a table within 15 minutes.The staff was very warm and friendly.The starters+mains were an explosion of well balanced , exciting flavours.Maybe the portions were a little small.We ordered only one desert which was adequately interesting without being exceptional.Very good value lunch.We plan to go again,especially if the menu changes as we like to try new dishes.We did not wish to have wine but had a look at the wine list.I must say I found the prices a bit stiff.
Delicious food, attentive staff and I actually liked the portion sizes! Amazing how extreme the reviews are here, but give it a try. It's actually quite reasonable for a fine dining experience
I was taken here for a surprise Birthday dinner the food was amazing, the service was excellent and the place was elegant. A birthday meal I will not forget quickly, next time I hope to stay in the hotel as well.
Always delicious! I simply do not understand how anybody can complain about the place: 3 dishes of superb quality and ingredients for £19 and free sparkling water for £1.... We loved it and go back every other week. The menu does not change much, but price and quality is so good we considered it like a great local restaurant one goes often without breaking the bank. And staff has ALWAYS been very friendly.
I loved it. the food was delicious, and the service was good. long time to wait but it's not a problem when you have good company. and we even got a free glass of champagne ! I will definitely return !
reasonable prices, friendly service, some food was quite good, some misses (ongler steak one of them), overall satisfying. Good price/quality raito.
Loved El Viajante, love the Corner Room. A pleasure for not a great deal of money. Gracias Nuno y compañía!
Amazing food. May be crazy busy at night. Simple solution - take a day off and go at lunch - no body in the place. Best value food in town. Waiting staff a bit dopey though. Only a hand full of wines so surely not too hard to know what they are like is it?
Went here on a whim and was very pleasantly suprised by one of the best meals we've had for some time. The maitre d' informed us of a 30 min wait and took our number while we went to the bar downstairs and had a drink. Cocktails were imaginative and well executed. We were called to let us know the table was going to be ready 5 min in advance. We had four starters between the two of us. All were excellent but the octopus was really a standout. However the blueberries with goat cheese caramel and shiso granita was unbelievable. A truly great and surprising combination and perfect way to end a meal. Great waiting team who all seemed to really enjoy working there- making a great atmosphere and fun evening.
Ambition succeeds talent at this restaurant. Firstly we were greeted with a 90 minute sitting when we sat down (even though there were still empty tables). Starters with pork & hate which ended up resembling a tuna sandwhich with more mayo than meat. My wife had green beans and anchovies that had a very overpowering taste of orange which was not even mentioned on the menu. Then for main course we had pigeon and corn with elderberries and it lacked the contrast of flavours they were going for. Our second dish was the onglet steak which had really good flavour but it was and we were should expect it to be tough. Then the dessert (which I heard were fantastic) was random in flavour ( apple & hazelnut panacotta ice cream) and lacked again any great contrast in flavour.. All in all the setting is desirable, the menu reads well but the execution and taste is really disappointing.
Honestly some of the best service I have ever had...well informed waiters....attentive and willing to give a full breakdown of the menu. Well priced allround with the food being exceptional. I have eaten in some very well known restaurants...and the food has not been that great compared. Worth going to and then having cocktails in the bar downstairs. Fantastic evening.
Had dinner there in the past week. The food was excellent; interesting flavours, well presented and put together. The menu is limited, but at the same time offers a great diversity, which is a good thing as far as I am concerned. I did not get the "attitude" as mentioned below by others, but I did see a struggling front-of-house. Our waiter was very good, but he appeared to be unequalled and poorly supported by the rest of the floor staff. The Maitre d' was present but detached and was unhelpful in letting us know what to do for 30 minutes while waiting for our table. I will go back, and when I do, I really hope the front-of-house is staffed up to properly complement what is coming out of the kitchen.
I agree with the previous reviewer. Had dinner here a few months ago. They were quite new at the time but already seemed rather smug and putting little heart into the food. The host had a lot of attitude as well. I'd barely sat down 5 minutes before he made a point of saying they had a 90 minute sitting policy. Fair enough but at least be gracious in your manner. Portions were small and flavors underwhelming. Not worth the price at all.
Unfortunately I can't give zero stars. We waited for 40 minutes for a table; it was not worth it. We ordered steak, we were told to expect 20 minutes for it to come - it came over an hour later. And it's a tiny restaurant with about 8 tables! The food was so so and pricy for what it was. I will never come here again and would advise everyone else to do the same - but it was quite busy, so I'm sure having an outdated 5 star review by timeout are doing this very mediocre, very slow restaurant plenty of undeserved favours.
Clearly one of the best food option North East of London at the moment. Been there a number of time already and the price to quality ratio of the food is outstanding. The menu is quite original and it tastes amazingly! Wine is good but the price range is not in line with the price of the food, meaning most bottles are a bit too expensive. Great place to have lunch during the week too.
Came to dine at the corner room a while ago .did not like it at all from the beginning to the end. When we arrived my boyfriend and I asked for 2 gls of champagne .the waiter told us that they only have sparkling wine which we agree to have,then he came back to say they did not have any left (what a joke ! they have a bar and an other restaurant downstairs! then we've been given dirty menus and the waiter pored still water without asking if we wanted still or sparkling.One item on the starter was missing (with only 3 other choices left!) .We ' ve ordered a bottle of wine which of course they did not have .the food was very colourful and looked tasty but my boyfriend pork was chewy...not so good.My food was ok but nothing exceptional and portion are very small,we where lucky they left the bread on the table so we finished the bread basket.Around 9.30pm the hotel staff start hoovering in the corridor in front of the restaurant which was very unpleasant .The staff did not seem to care ,when i looked around i could not see any manager either.after the dessert the waiter told us that if we wanted coffees we had to go to the bar.I don't understand how a place who served breakfast can't serve coffees at night.even if the place is very small just bye at least a filter coffee machine and a kettle .I have looked around and i am sure you can fit it even in the kitchen....I also work in the industry that why I 'm sure you can make an effort on this....
Truly awful. I arranged a birthday brunch here and the experience was so unbelievably bad that we were left baffled as to how a restaurant can operate so poorly. Bottled beer was served at room temperature (apparently the fridge was broken yet the bottled water was served chilled); it took 50 minutes for a mimosa to arrive; drinks were dropped onto the tables rather than served; the kitchen had no plates (despite there only being 15 people in the restaurant); the waiting staff seemed to have no idea about what they were doing and feigned confusion rather than take charge; and then arrived the immensely disappointing food: small portions, average quality, bizarrely limited selection on the menu. Go here only if you want to laugh at the comedy 'Faulty Towers' act but if you want an enjoyable eating experience, go around the corner to the Camel.
superb food that offers rhyme, reason and style for those that want something outside the norm. my starter of squid with jersey royal potato is perhaps the best i've ever had i certainly embarrassed my guests by clearing the plate with the lovely bread. we are also big fans of viajante and i would suggest this is a good way to enjoy their food at a better price point. yes portions are small but three courses where enough for me and the service was impeccable.
I had one of the best meals I've had in a long time at the Corner Room and all for a price that was cheaper than most run of the mill gastro-pubs. The food was inventive, exciting and absolutely delicious - service too was friendly and helpful. Went midweek for a fairly early dinner and went straight to a table with no wait. I'll definitely be back.
Our evening at The Corner Room didn't start well. After waiting for over an hour and a half in the bar downstairs with the rude and inattentive staff we sat down and were immediately told that we better order soon as the kitchen would be closing at 10. My entree was bad, lukewarm miscellaneous something with a cold sloppy poached egg on top. The entire thing was almost taste free. My main was better (salmon & beetroot) but still nothing I would get in a cab for. The dessert was like nothing I've ever had served to me in a restaurant before, it was absolutely awful. Again very little flavour and the flavour that was there was bad. Like eating a dirty foot. Two of the waitstaff witnessed it uneaten on my plate, said nothing and eventually took my plate away. If this is what is being served up at Viajante for three times the price it's appalling. Our meal came to £35 a head, I would loath to pay more.
We arrived at 8 and were told that a table would be ready after 40 minutes or so. In the meantime, we waited in the hotel bar, where we had some rather expensive cocktails. The staff in the bar appear to have been recruited for their physical attributes rather than their experience: they were nonchalant, unattentive and overly informal -- infuriating considering that the cocktails were no less than 9 pounds each (plus service). In the meantime, we had to keep on calling the The Corner restaurant to ask when our table was ready. Noone took the initiative to call us, or to contact the bar staff, who knew that we were waiting for a table. One hour and forty minutes later, we were told that a table was ready. However, when we got to the restaurant, they told us that there were no tables left, and led us to what appeared to be a darkened and draughty storeroom, situated some 20 metres away from the restaurant. It was clear that the waiter, who told us 'this is the best solution to the problem', really thought that he had done us a favour here. The food may very well be good, but we didn't get to eat it. The company as a whole appears to hold their customers in utter contempt; as such, we won't be returning.
spent nearly two hours waiting in the hotel's hideous bar yesterday waiting for a table before being told we were still not near the front of the list and the kitchen was closing. cannot imagine a worse evening in bethnal green - as every local kebab house would have offered a more enjoyable night out.
Oh dear! We turned up for an early Saturday lunch, at 12, only to be told that they didn't open until 12.30. When the staff courteously invited us in at 12.30 the only food they were serving was what they called Brunch and was less substantial than a starter would have been. (In fact we went off for a main course elsewhere.) Apart from the fact that the menu proclaimed Brunch 12 (not 12.30, note) - 4pm, my Mushrooms, Hash Browns and Duck Egg couldn't have been less successful. The egg wasn't quite cooked (then came back with the whole dish having been grilled!), the hash browns were completely unseasoned, but the mushrooms were heavily over-salted. On asking for black pepper, stained salt and pepper shakers were brought. And when we asked for the bill (but not before) we were asked if we wouldn't like tea or coffee. Sorry, we wouldn't have liked any of it, and didn't. Although the staff were friendly and courteous. And slightly embarrassed.