Stratford secured its place in history when it hosted 2012’s Olympic Games but it's never got off the starting blocks where restaurants are concerned, with diners having to settle for the chains of the Westfield shopping centre.
The Stratford hopes to change this – it's a multi-million pound development which is a combination of loft-living spaces and hotel rooms, with two on-site restaurants. The seventh floor is home to the high-end Allegra, while you’ll find the all-day Kitchen E20 on the ground floor, serving a concise, crowd-pleasing menu.
Kitchen E20 matches the rest of the hotel’s interiors, which offer a masterclass in how to make muted tones and grey surfaces seem chic – we particularly admired the black and white installation hanging from the ceiling which looks like a pile of papers suspended in the air.
Things kick off with breakfasts of homemade crumpets and eggs every way before moving on to a snappy selection of small plates, mains and dishes from a grill at lunch and dinner. All the usual brasserie staples are present and correct and done pretty well. Half a dozen oysters were fresh and tangy while a steak cooked correctly to order came with a bucket of crisp, golden fries.
More Mediterranean-style dishes include a delicate assembly of thick-cut chickpea panisse, with a creamy filling and breadcrumb coating, and a linguine studded with plump prawns that stays on the right side of rich.
The stand-out dessert is the stylish take on a baked Alaska – it’s a grown-up version of the retro favourite, with juicy peach slices on the side and served looking like a Christmas yule log coated in blow-torched meringue. It’s also got enough of a sugar hit to delight the inner child in any diner.
Kitchen E20 isn’t going to win any gold medals, but it’s a likeable space with affable staff and fair pricing. For a reliably good meal in a restaurant-starved part of town, it runs rings around the local competition.