Chez Elles

Restaurants, French London
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
4 Love It
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Chez Elles just narrowly misses being a naff parody of itself, saved by fantastic cooking and an unexpected location – somehow, the cutesy Parisian hipster vibe and chanson playlist grates far less on Brick Lane than it would in South Ken or Highgate. Maybe it’s because there’s no attempt at irony. From the Robert Doisneau prints to the white-painted iron love seat, from the crushed velvet banquettes to the impossibly good-looking staff and the is-it-classic-is-it-cliché menu – they really mean it.

There’s brunch and daily specials, and coffee and own-made cakes at a counter propping up (French) regulars, and a disarming, heavily accented welcome (the founding members met while working on the Eurostar). The wine list is a map on the wall with arrows to the grape-growing regions, and the main menu is beyond reproach. There was smoky, spicy, peppery charcuterie with lots of bread and salt. There was a circle of plump, soft, nutty snails swimming in garlic butter, better than many you’ll get in Paris.

There was a straightforwardly delicious onion tart with goat’s cheese, and a seriously good, tearingly tender bavette steak with triple-fried chips. Your arteries might recoil, but you’ll leave full of joie de vivre.

 

Posted:

Venue name: Chez Elles
Contact:
Address: 45 Brick Lane
London
E1 6PU
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm Wed-Sat. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Tue-Sat. Brunch served 11am-5pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Aldgate East/Shoreditch High St Overground
Price: Main courses £11.50-£16.50
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
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Izzy K
Tastemaker

Quintessentially French and super romantic restaurant in the middle of the Curry Town.

From the first entrance you feel like in a Paris café. There’s French music, French posters, French vintage tins adoring the walls, super cute French waitresses.

Most of the food I had was delicious. The scallops (although it was only one supplemented with prawns) served on a shell and baked with creamy cheese and chive and sauce was fantastic. The main – cod with sweet potato and a little tower of various vegetables – was cooked to perfection. The cheese selection (served with sourdough crisps and fresh fig) and the crème brûlée didn’t quite meet the level of greatness of the other two, they were average. As for a French restaurant, they have a great selection of wines, the Pinot Gris I tried was exquisite.

The only let down was the timing. We picked most of dishes from the express menu and it took 2h to finish the three course lunch. Considering in the week people come during their office break, they should work on the pace a little bit, we’re not in Paris after all:)

Jacky P

One of the Best affordable French Restaurant, with a cosy warm and frenchy atmosphere!

James Manning

I can totally understand why some people would sneer when they walk past this twee French bistro on Brick Lane – I definitely did before I actually went there. So it's almost disappointing that Chez Elles totally delivers on the food front. It helps that it's down the unfashionable bottom end, sitting alongside the curry houses rather than the twin harbingers of doom that are Subway and the Cereal Killer Café. This is an independent restaurant run by people who clearly give a shit about what they're doing – the food is actually way better than most of the curry you'll find on the Lane. Chapeau.