Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London E2 9NF|
|Tel:||020 7871 0460|
|Price: £49.00||Wine: £27.00||Champagne: £64.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 7-10am (Sat-Sun -10.30am) 12N-4pm 6-10.30pm|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
Our first visit today, and the approach to the restaurant and indeed the building it sits in- looking rather like a 1950's National Coal Board Office where the staff just upped and left- belie what you're going to get. There are a few surprises-most of them good. The restaurant punches above its weight on food quality and originality. The breads were the best I've eaten in a while. They charge a flat £1 for still or sparkling water – as much as you want; the bottle of wine we enjoyed had more character and sheer enjoyment value than I've had in a restaurant for a little while, and the lunchtime deal is great value at £19/£23 for two or three courses though there are a few supplements. Finally the menu on the internet was the same as the menu we got on arrival- which is both increasingly rare and honest IMO.
Inside the restaurant itself, the atmosphere is a little bare and rustic, though the tables are decently spaced and the display of pendant lights against an end wall adds considerable interest.
The food itself could maybe be described as your favourite tapas bar meets modern european. Lots of ingredients, most of which you can taste clearly . Not swimming in sauces- just a little here and there to add interest, and quality meats served pink (even the pork). Both my starter of cuttlefish with salt-baked potatoes and a little paprika oil, and my main of Iberian pork with bitter leaves and a piquant winter relish, were extremely tasty and thoroughly enjoyable. Presentation is designer-casual. My wife enjoyed her aged pumpkin and aged beef dishes very much too, though her beef wasn't as tender as my pork. The aged thing was possibly appropriate as we could have probably given everyone else in the place 20 years and not missed them. She enjoyed her dessert too.
The less good bits included my rather expensive English cheese plate – a bit dull, served from the fridge as if not many people choose it (and I shan't again) and served with oatcakes -does anyone know anything quite so boring as oatcakes? If i'd had my wits about me I'd have asked for more of the the bread I was so effusive about above. Then there was the fact that they don't have decaf – so we 'd have liked a coffee but had to go elsewhere for it. The service was nicely timed and perfectly polite, but somehow in a casual place like this one you kind of expect a few more smiles. Not at all grumpy, but the place could be a little more welcoming, thats all. The bill came to £93 of which about £10 has down to my mistake with the cheese. Will we go again? I'd be surprised if we didn't . It was good food and it was interesting- a most enjoyable lunch.