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“Romantic and lovely” is one reader’s verdict on Chez Elles Bistroquet – a little bastion of Gallic joie de vivre in the heart of touristy Banglatown (aka Brick Lane). With its birdcages, all manner of decorative tiles festooned around the bar, a hotchpotch of prints, map and other curios on the walls, plus close-packed tables, French music, cheery service and a general air of cramped bonhomie, this place is unreformed bistro through and through. As for the food, look no further than rustic duck rillettes, escargots and oeufs meurette with oyster mushrooms followed by moules marinière, blanquette of veal or grilled bavette with confit garlic, marrow bone and new potatoes cooked in lard. To conclude, consider crème brûlée with pistachios or galette des rois (puff pastry filled with almond cream). You can also drop by for brunch or while away the afternoon with a drink and some charcuterie.
Michael and I and our duo in crime had been planning our first double date for some time. All good friends and lovers of food, there was nothing to do but pick a good restaurant. When Michael and I had wandered along Brick Lane the weekend prior to our big night out, we had spotted a seemingly random and charming looking bistro amongst the queue of curry houses. Chez Elles stood out from the crowd with its French name and impressive number of happy heads that could be spotted on the other side of the glass...
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There’s a nice little story behind this restaurant. Once upon a time, a French girl named Lili moved to London and decided to rent a flat on Brick Lane (above a curry house – no surprises there). Now Lili had a French friend called Nadia, whom she met whilst they were both working on the Eurostar. Soon enough, the 2 girl’s mutual passion for food meant they blossomed into the best of friends. One day, the curry house under Lili’s flat shut up shop – the 2 girls pounced and shortly after, the vacant site was transformed into what is now their very own little bistro/brasserie. Lili & Nadia had finally fulfilled their...
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