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"Still cool" and "always reliably good" says a fan of Bistrotheque, which is heading into its second decade as a hip fixture of the East End scene. The kitchen works to a broad Anglo-European remit, moving from dishes such as fruits de mer and cod and chips to sumptuously rich pig's cheek with Boston baked beans and mustard, via porterhouse steak with bone marrow or partridge with celeriac purée, fried bread and crab apple jelly. One regular reckons their emphatically spiced steak tartare is "the best in London", while desserts look across the pond for figs with bourbon ice cream, pumpkin and pecans. Prix-fixe menus make it worth going in a big group, and brunch (complete with all-day live music) is another good way to experience this friendly local legend – especially if you get into its spirited cocktails and well-chosen selection of wines.
The explorer in me, actually, really enjoyed the element of surprise in finding Bistrotheque. Heck getting to Cambridge Heath station, the closest means of non-bus transport (I don’t trust buses) to Bistrotheque, itself was a journey all on its own! Some of the best meals I’ve ever had have been at places I’ve had to hunt for, (cue being led through an underground passageway, after having rung the bell outside a dodgy side door with no sign, by a Japanese lady at Yu-U in Melbourne) but it’s not actually that difficult to find Bistrotheque if you know that you need to look for it!Once inside you are...
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