SquareMeal Review of
Right next to Victoria Park, this regal Empress receives a number of important local dignitaries throughout the day: the fishmonger, the butcher, the baker… all pay their respects here. As a result, chef Elliott Lidstone’s menu is a celebration of the foodie scene flourishing on his doorstep – though his influences are more global. Bold, bright seasonal flavours are the cornerstones, witness prettily presented, shareable plates of fried duck egg and trompettes on toast or cured sea trout with orange, fennel and hazelnut. These vie for attention with generous mains of roast pork belly and apple sauce or cod with Moroccan-spiced chickpeas, monk’s beard, yoghurt and sumac. Other attractions at this art-filled bistro include “great” weekend brunch, £10 Monday suppers, BYO ‘frugal feasts’ and all-day tapas-style snacks to go with London beers, classic cocktails and modern wines from hotly tipped producers. Sadly, the service is less consistent than the food.
The Empress is recommended for