Blanchette East 22

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A sister to Blanchette Soho, this casual, pretty French restaurant from the Alary brothers makes culinary detours to North Africa. As with Soho, the restaurant is decorated with murals by Aldo Gigli, with a large, Belle Époque-style female nude dominating the bar. Diners can perch here for an eyeful, or take a wooden seat in the rear dining room amid stripped-back, rustic minimalism. The menu kicks off with superb bar snacks including bouncy, moreish cheese beignets, as well as deep-fried frog’s legs, worth ordering for the tomato tang of bois boudran sauce alone – this is a great spot for a casual drink. Sharing is encouraged, so a variety of French charcuterie and cheese is followed by small plates including seared onglet steak with snails, moist lumps of monkfish vibrantly underlined with smoked aubergine and tomato bursts, and an apricot-stuffed lamb tagine paired with the silky tang of lebna. Almost half of the Old-World wine list is available by the glass and, like the food, represents strong value for money. With such excellent cooking and cool, laid-back service, Blanchette East deserves to generate some Brick Lane buzz.   

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